" I am very grieved. "Sunday, July 12, at the end of the Angelus prayer, pope Francis has reacted to the conversion of a decision by Turkey of the former basilica of hagia Sophia into a mosque. "My thoughts go to Istanbul, I think of the hagia Sophia. I am very grieved, " said briefly the pope is argentine, out of the planned speech. These words of the pope, represent the first comment from the Vatican to the decision of the Turkish. L'osservatore Romano, the Vatican's daily newspaper, had reported the previous day as a factual account of the events, citing the main international reactions, but without comment.
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Several countries, including Russia and Greece, which closely follow the fate of the byzantine heritage in Turkey, as well as the United States and France, in particular had warned Ankara against the transformation of hagia Sophia into a place of worship, a muslim, a measure for which the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a pes islamo-conservative, has been fighting for years.