The address of Global Christian youth to His Excellency President of
Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to maintain the museum status of Hagia Sophia

 

We are the representatives of the Christian youth from the USA, Canada, Russia, Ukraine, Australia, Germany, Georgia, Armenia, Greece, Cyprus, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Moldova, Belarus.

We address you, Mr. President, to maintain the current status of one of the most important symbols of Christianity, a World Heritage Site — Hagia Sophia, the doors of which Turkey has kept open with free access since 1935 with respect to Christians around the world and in 2035 it will be possible for the whole world to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the museum status of this historic pearl.

We are fully aware that Hagia Sophia is located on the territory of the Turkish state today and the decision on its fate is the prerogative of the Turkish authorities, but we address you to maintain the museum status, looking ahead because Hagia Sophia is a symbol of peaceful coexistence, meaningful dialogue and respect between religions.

The temple is not just a cultural monument, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is a complex knot, interwoven with historical events that
defined the development of the world, various religions, the fate of entire nations and countries. Hagia Sophia is a World Heritage Site that should remain an attraction for people of different religions.

The fact that a Muslim country has a Christian sanctuary in its territory, the “Mecca” of all Christians, with a respect to the prayers of the
believers of all religions and with worships to the Almighty, and to keep it carefully, it is precisely the apogee of the historical role, power and wisdom of the Leader of a country.

Turkey is rich with Byzantine heritage. From time to time there are some discrepancies regarding some of them. That is why we especially
appreciate your participation in the preservation of the museum status of another Byzantine sanctuary — the monastery of Panagia Soumela. The accessibility of the monastery for visiting and the services held there once a year allow people from different parts of the world to get in touch with the history of this sacred place, and to develop the ​​Trabzon area thanks to endless tourism flow.

Your decision to maintain the museum status of Hagia Sophia can be historic. Today, more than ever, people need symbols of peace, peace of mind, tolerance and multiculturalism.

We are on the side of peace and interreligious harmony.

We pray for the fate of Hagia Sophia, one of the most important monuments of world culture.

Mr. President, by addressing you to maintain the museum status of Hagia Sophia, we address you to make peace!

1. Australia — Charis Tsairis, Youth Representative of Federation of Pontian Associations of Australia

2. Canada — Christos Chrisochoou, Youth Representative of World Vlach Amphictyony

3. USA — Christos Komsios, Youth Representative of Pan Macedonian Association the USA

4. USA — Georgia Mavridou, Youth representative of Pan-Pontian Federation of U.S.A and Canada

5. Germany — Apostolos Tsirogiannis, Youth Representative of World Council of Epirotes Abroad

6. Germany — Maria Papadopoulou, Youth Coordinator of Federation of Greek Pontian Associations in Europe

7. Germany — Giannis Kastelianos, Managing Director of KRITAIEIS, World Council of Cretans magazine

8. Cyprus — Alkis Anastasiadis, President of the Federation of Pontian Greeks of Cyprus 

9. Greece — Konstantinos Samourkasidis, Youth representative of Pan-Hellenic Federation of Pontian Associations

10. Greece — Anna Iliadou, Youth representative of Pan-Hellenic Federation of Associations of Repatriated Pontian Greeks from the
former USSR

11. Russia — Evgenia Popova, President of Youth Council of Association of Greek social communities of Russia

12. Ukraine — Yulia Zharikova, Youth representative of the Federation of Greek Communities of Ukraine

13. Georgia — Evgenia Kotanidi, President of the Union of Greek Communities of Georgia

14. Armenia — Diana Smbatyan, Youth representative of the Union of Greek Communities of Armenia

15. Kazakhstan — Giannis Kaisidis, Youth representative of the Union of Greek Communities of Kazakhstan

16. Uzbekistan — Giannis Sivvakos, Representative of the Union of Greek Youth of Uzbekistan

17. Azerbaijan — Kamal Sultanov, Representative of the Union of Greek Youth of Azerbaijan

18․ Moldova – Vyatseslav Papadopoulos, Representative of the Union of Greek Youth of Moldova