‘Hands off Hagia Sophia’: Italy’s far-right Salvini leads protest against transformation of museum into mosque

Matteo Salvini, leader of the far-right League party, has lead a demonstration in Milan calling for Italy to cut funding to Turkey over its decision to transform the Hagia Sophia museum into a mosque.

Turkish authorities have announced the monument, originally built as a Christian basilica 1,500 years ago, will now function as a mosque, and Christian symbols will be concealed with curtains during prayer.

Standing outside the Turkish consulate in Milan with around 60 protesters, Salvini said, “ It is not possible that Islamic extremism wipes out centuries of history, of rights, of freedom, of conquests and it is not possible that the Turkish regime allows itself to transform churches into mosques with nobody saying anything.”

The far-right leader quipped that Milan’s iconic Cathedral could also become a mosque one day, “if we continue to bow our heads.”

Salvini called for a halt to financial aid to the Turkish regime saying, “we have given more than 10 billion euros to a regime that transforms churches into mosques and I think they have gone over the limit.”

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Rebecca Ann Hughes

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