Protests and special service held in Greece over conversion of Hagia Sophia

Updated: Jul 25, 2020, 05:00 PM(IST)

Hours after first prayer was offered at Hagia Sophia, Greece and Turkey got into a verbal fight over the conversion of the museum to a mosque, after the Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Friday said what was happening in Istanbul was "not a show of force, but proof of weakness".

'Christian church'

Turkey slammed Greek statements against the move to convert Hagia Sophia back into a mosque after the first Muslim prayers were held there.

(Photograph:AFP)

Flag burning

A group of far-right Greek extremists burned Turkish flags on Friday to protests against the reopening of the Hagia Sophia as a mosque instead of a museum.

(Photograph:AFP)

Protests outside church

Protesters waved flags and held banners during a gathering outside a church in Thessaloniki. 

(Photograph:AFP)

Special service

The head of the Church of Greece Archbishop Ieronymos held a special service at Athens Metropolitan Church chanting the Akathist Hymn in honour of the Virgin Mary. The same service had been officiated in Hagia Sophia.

(Photograph:AFP)

Hundreds attended the service

Orthodox faithful attended the special service at Athens Metropolitan Church on July 24, 2020 while Orthodox believers protested against turning the reopening of the mosque.

(Photograph:AFP)

'Spoiled children of Europe'

"The spoiled children of Europe, who cannot accept renewed prostration in Hagia Sophia, are once again delusional," Turkish foreign ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said in a statement.

(Photograph:AFP)

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