Kathimerini Greece Newsroom
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Wednesday visited the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul.
Tsipras was accompanied by Education Minister Costas Gavroglou, Alternate Foreign Minister Giorgos Katrougalos, Deputy Foreign Minister Markos Bolaris, as well as his wife Betty Peristera Baziana.
The Greek premier declined to make any comment.
Built in the 6th century under order of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian, Hagia Sophia – a UNESCO world heritage site – was once Christendom’s greatest cathedral.
It served as the seat of the Greek Orthodox Church before it was converted into a mosque after the Ottoman conquest of the Byzantine capital of Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul) in 1453.
It was turned into a museum by the Turkish government in 1935.
The Greek premier will visit the Halki Greek Orthodox seminary on an island near Istanbul later on Wednesday.
In my meeting with President Erdogan we agreed that our Ministers of Defence and Ministries of Foreign Affairs should meet to promote confidence building measures. We have the opportunity to build a relationship based on mutual respect and the respect for international law pic.twitter.com/mnfs7eWmvf— Alexis Tsipras (@tsipras_eu) 5 February 2019