Dozens of demonstrators gathered outside the Turkish consulate in Milan to express their dismay at the Turkish decision. Led by Matteo Salvini, leader of the rightist Northern League party, protesters held banners reading: “Stop Islamic fundamentalism” and “Get your hands off Hagia Sofia”.
“It should not be possible for Islamic fanaticism to erase centuries of history, rights and freedom,” Salvini declared.
“It should not be possible for the Turkish regime to turn churches into mosques without anyone speaking out,” he added, calling on the Italian government and the European Union to impose sanctions on Ankara.
Meanwhile, a group of Israelis burned a Turkish flag in front of the Turkish Consulate in Jerusalem to protest the country’s decision to turn Istanbul’s iconic Hagia Sophia back into a mosque.
The group called on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to support and protect Christians around the world.
The demonstrators waved flags of Greece and the Byzantine Empire and hung banners with anti-Turkish slogans outside the consulate.