Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis expressed his strong annoyance over the conversion of the Monastery of Chora into a Muslim Mosque, adding that he would raise the issue with Turkish President Recep Erdogan during their meeting on Monday.

The Prime Minister, who met with the President of the Hellenic Republic, Katerina Sakellaropoulou in Athens on Wednesday, stated: “I want to express publicly my strong dissatisfaction, reflecting the sentiments of all Greeks, regarding the entirely unnecessary conversion of a historic temple, the Monastery of Chora, into a mosque. I believe this action undermines the rich history of Constantinople itself as a crossroads of civilizations, and it is a matter that I will certainly address with President Erdoğan when I meet him.”

“We have no illusions that Turkish positions will change overnight,” the Prime Minister told the President.

The Greek Prime Minister underlined that his visit was an opportunity to assess the ongoing rapprochement between Greece and Turkey, which he believed had moved forward with “tangible results” at various levels.

Mitsotakis said Greece always went into discussions with Turkey with confidence, adding that the Greek side was under no illusions that Turkish positions would change overnight.

Despite this, the PM added that it was imperative that when disputes arose, communication channels should remain open to converse candidly and respectfully.

On the issue of the upcoming European elections in June, Mitsotakis urged Greek citizens to participate in the electoral process citing “indications of intense polarization from other parties” ahead of the June ballot.