Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew commented on the transformation of also Kariye into a mosque after Hagia Sophia. Bartholomew said, "The administrators made these decisions in a hurry as if the mosques in cities are not enough, and as if there is a need for many places of worship for the believers of the majority religion."
During a speech made on Sunday, September 6, at a consecration ceremony at the Halki Seminary, Patriarch Bartholomew commented on both 6-7 September 1955 and the fact that the Halki Seminary has been closed for 50 years, as well as the conversion of Hagia Sophia and Kariye into a mosque. Patriarch Bartholomew spoke as follows:
"A few months ago Hagia Sophia was turned into a mosque. Later on, Kariye, one of the most beautiful monasteries, was also turned into a mosque. The administrators made these decisions in a hurry as if the mosques in cities are not enough, and as if there is a need for many places of worship for the believers of the majority religion. Such acts offend us, our identity, our history and our culture. We are praying patiently."
After Hagia Sophia had been converted into a mosque, Patriarch Bartholomew had made the following statement: "The conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque will turn millions of Christians around the world against Islam. In this case, Hagia Sophia, i.e. a vital center where the East and the West embrace one another due to its sacredness, will tear these two worlds apart, particularly at a time when humanity needs to focus on unity and common goals when being tested by a deadly pandemic.”