A month after Turkey controversially turned the Hagia Sophia into a mosque, a second historic church is to become a Muslim place of worship.
The medieval Church of the Holy Saviour in Chora, also known as the Kariye Museum, is to be converted to a mosque on the orders of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Associated Press reports.
The church dates back to the 4th century and was constructed under Constantine the Great. It became a mosque after the 1453 Ottoman conquest of Constantinople. It has been a museum since 1945.
The Greek foreign ministry has accused Erdogan of “once again brutally insulting the character” of a Christian World Heritage Site.
“This is a provocation against all believers,” it said in a statement.
“We urge Turkey to return to the 21st century, and the mutual respect, dialogue and understanding between civilizations.”
Turkey’s Opposition HDP party lawmaker Garo Paylan said the conversion of the church into a mosque was “a shame for our country.”
“One of the symbols of our country’s deep, multicultural identity and multi-religious history has been sacrificed,” he tweeted.