NEW YORK | The Hellenic American Leadership Council (HALC) and its grassroots activists increased pressure on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to take a stand against the conversion of historic Hagia Sophia into a mosque.
HALC activists delivered a petition signed by 25,876 grassroots activists to UNESCO offices in New York, demanding that UNESCO take a public stand on the issue. That same day, a HALC delegation visited 13 Congressional offices on Capitol Hill, delivering information about the petition and briefing Congressional staff.
Grassroots activists from around the country also called UNESCO offices asking for a UNESCO statement on Turkey’s latest actions. The Stand Up For Hagia Sophia campaign was launched a few weeks ago in response to recent remarks by Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç who declared that Hagia Sophia of Istanbul would “soon” become a mosque.
“To gather over 25,000 signatures in just three weeks in support of Hagia Sophia is testament to the grassroots power of the Hellenic community,” said HALC’s Executive Director Endy Zemenides.
“These signatures, along with follow up phone calls and emails, will send a strong message to both UNESCO and the Turkish government that any attempt to convert Hagia Sophia into a mosque will be met with an international outcry by those who desire to keep the historic site open and accessible to all.”
– Source: greeknewsonline.com