The Hellenic American Leadership Council (HALC), has increased the pressure towards the United Nations, Scientific Cultural Organization (UNESCO) asking them not to allow the historic church of Hagia Sophia to be turned into a Mosque.
HALC activists managed to gather 25,876 signatures of people who agreed with their cause. On the 10th of December 2013 they delivered the signatures to the New York offices of UNESCO demanding that the organization takes a public stand on the issue at hand. Later that afternoon, HALC representatives visited some of the Congressional Offices in Capitol Hill in order to deliver the petition and inform people of their cause. Activists from all over the country called and demanded that UNESCO give a public statement about Turkey’s intentions to turn Hagia Sophia into a Mosque.
The campaign for Hagia Sophia was launched 21 days ago after the Turkish Deputy Prime Minister, Bülent Arınç, commented that the Hagia Sophia in Instabul would soon become a mosque.
HALC Executive Director, Endy Zemenides, said that the gathering of 25,000 signatures in the a time period of three weeks shows the power of the Hellenic community. He continued: “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.”