NEW DELHI: After Turkey’s Hagia Sophia move, a regional governor in Greece wants the restoration works of a historical mosque to be stopped.
The 17th-century Valide Mosque on the island of Lesbos in Greece is being restored under a 1.2 million euro grant from the EU regional development fund for the Aegean islands.
According to media reports, the North Aegean Regional Governor, Kostas Moutzourison, in his letter sent to the Minister of Development, Adonis Georgiadis, and the Minister of Finance, Christos Staikouras demanded the discontinuation of the on-going restoration works at the historical mosque.
Hagia Sophia row
The Greek governor’s letter came after Turkish State Council on Friday approved the conversion of the historic Hagia Sophia into a mosque that has also led to widespread criticism.
Built 1,500 years ago as an Orthodox Christian cathedral, Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque after the Ottoman conquest in 1453.
In 1934 it became a museum and is now a UNSECO World Heritage site.
On July 14, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis described Turkey’s decision to convert the Hagia Sophia into a mosque as “unnecessary and petty” and said the country is “considering its response at all levels.”
Built in 1615, the historical Valide mosque (Mosque of the Valide Sultan) was created to honor an Ottoman sultan’s mother.
The mosque is located in the old Turkish quarter of the city, Epano Skala.
According to its founder’s inscription above its entrance, it was built in 1615, making it one of the oldest mosques in the island.