Europe’s opinion on Turkey is “based on past prejudices and misplaced concerns,” Turkish presidential spokesperson told former Swedish prime minister on Saturday.

“Much of the current European opinion on Turkey is based on past prejudices and misplaced concerns,” Ibrahim Kalin replied to a tweet of former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt after the latter commented on the Turkish court verdict allowing Hagia Sophia to be used as a mosque.

On Friday, a Turkish court annulled a 1934 Cabinet decree, which had turned Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia into a museum. This verdict by the court paved the way for its use as a mosque again after 85 years.

“It will serve us all to maintain a relationship of equality, mutual respect, and common interest,” Kalin added.

“There is little doubt that the move will further shift opinion in the European Union as concerns relations with Turkey. I guess the reason for the move is to send a signal on the direction of the country. And I suspect that it will be noted,” Bildt said in a tweet to Kalin.

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