So yes, I will agree with Erdogan that it is their country and they can do whatever they like.
On the other hand, it is a sign, and not a good one. It is a sign of growing Islamization of Turkey, which was founded as a secular country by Kemal Ataturk after the break up of the old Ottoman Empire. Increasingly, I am told by secular Istanbulians, that they no longer have a voice. There is no more freedom of press, and some journalists who even westerners enjoyed reading in newspapers like Hurryiet are no longer writing, if not jailed.
It is also a sign, when you see Muslims in Turkey and around the world cheering this move, that the concepts of 'conquering' and 'triumph' have not left the Islamic psyche in respect to Christians and in respect to this church. The only difference is that this is no longer the middle ages when conquering and taking the 'spoils of war' were a thing !!
All this is especially worrisome for our Patriarch Bartholomew and other Christians who reside in Turkey...Our new American Archbishop, Elpidophoros, is a Turkish citizen and grew up there of a Lebanese/Greek parentage. He is openly upset about it. The Pope, Francis, also has expressed that he finds this 'painful'...
It is worrisome in that this is one more move on the part of the Turkish President to revive the Ottoman era mentality which he seems to long for...not to mention provocative moves and speeches of political nature towards Greece, and which have poor little Greece on edge.
All I can say is **sigh**....All happens according to God's will.