Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden expressed his “deep regret” over the decision by Turkey to turn Hagia Sophia to a mosque on Friday.
Antony Blinken, Foreign policy adviser to Biden tweeted the statement: “The Hagia Sophia is an architectural marvel and a treasured holy site for people of many faiths.
“I deeply regret the Turkish government’s decision to convert it into a mosque and urge President Erdogan to reverse his decision.”
There is – here's what Joe Biden said last night: "The Hagia Sophia is an architectural marvel and a treasured holy site for people of many faiths… I deeply regret the Turkish government's decision to convert it into a mosque and urge President Erdoğan to reverse his decision." https://t.co/KRBcDyGY52
— Antony Blinken (@ABlinken) July 11, 2020
Also on Friday, the leadership of the all-powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee issued a statement “strongly denouncing” President Erdogan’s decision and saying that his move “is a deep affront to Christians around the world who look to Hagia Sophia as a shining light and deeply revered holy site.”
The Department of State also expressed “disappointment” at the move by Turkey.
State Department Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said in a statement. “We understand the Turkish Government remains committed to maintaining access to the Hagia Sophia for all visitors and look forward to hearing its plans for continued stewardship of the Hagia Sophia to ensure it remains accessible without impediment for all.”