Skip to comments.Muslims in Turkey Demand Historic Cathedral Be Turned Into Mosque (Is this the end of Hagia Sophia?)
Posted on 06/08/2012 2:11:28 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
Thousands of Muslims in Turkey, preparing to celebrate the Ottoman conquest of the country 500 years ago, are demanding that authorities allow them to convert the Hagia Sophia museum into a mosque, despite laws forbidding worship at what was once the world's most renowned Christian church.
Instanbul's Hagia Sophia, which means "Holy Wisdom" in Greek, was completed in 537 by Emperor Justinian and considered the center of Orthodox Christianity for more than 900 years. It was converted in the mid-15th century into a mosque after conquest by the Ottomans and became a source of pride for the Muslim world.
On Saturday, local time, thousands of Muslims turned out to the historic site to protest Turkey's 1934 law that makes it illegal for any religious group to hold services on its grounds. The Hagia Sophia was declared a museum that same year.
"Keeping Hagia Sophia Mosque closed is an insult to our mostly Muslim population of 75 million. It symbolizes our ill-treatment by the West," said Salih Turhan, head of the Anatolian Youth Association.
Turhan said his group staged the protest, in the form of prayers, in light of the upcoming anniversary of the Ottoman Sultan Mehmet's capture of Constantinople, according to Reuters.
"As the grandchildren of Mehmet the Conqueror, seeking the re-opening Hagia Sophia as a mosque is our legitimate right," he told the news agency.
There were also some Greek Orthodox Christians living in Turkey who believe the museum should re-assume its function as a church. However, the Orthodox patriarchate disagrees.
"If it were to become a mosque, Christians wouldn't be able to pray there, and if it became a church it would be chaos," Father Dositheos Anagnostopulos, a spokesman for the patriarchate, told Reuters.
In 2006, Pope Benedict XVI's visit to Hagia Sophia was met by protests from angry Muslims who saw the pontiff's presence as an attempt to make a Catholic claim of the site.
The demonstrators warned that any sign of a prayer there would be considered an offense, BBC News reported, noting that Benedict abstained from making any religious gesture.
According to latest estimates, Turkey's population, numbering around 79.7 million, is 99.8 percent Muslim, while the remaining 0.2 percent are mostly Christians and Jews.
According to Reuters, just a few thousand Greek Orthodox Christians remain in Turkey, although the patriarch's seat is still in Istanbul, as it was before the Ottoman conquest.
Such a beautiful, historic landmark. I hope the Mohammedans do not get their way.
>>Such a beautiful, historic landmark. I hope the Mohammedans do not get their way.
They will—for a while. We lost this church to the prince of this world and his followers 600 years ago. Jesus can’t come soon enough to take it all back.
Mooslime logic for territorial ownership.
Don’t worry. Eventually the human garbage will eventually take over most of the culturally and historically important sites, destroy them, and we won’t have to worry about it.
No one in power seems to care so why should we?
They can turn it into a mosque if we can turn mecca into a shiny new glowing glass parking lot.
The pagans are banging on the doors of civilization!
>>We invade Saudi Arabia and declare that their stupid black rock is now the center of Christianity
That stupid black rock is the vilest of pagan idols and shouldn’t have any contact with Christians. It should be loaded into a rocket and fired into the sun. Then we start a missionary program to convert the muslims living in western nations. Then, they can convert their ex-brethren living in muslim lands. Even if it takes a hundred years, it would be worth it.
>Jesus cant come soon enough to take it all back.<
At His second coming, the Hagia Sophia will be last thing on His Mind.
And civilization is letting them in for barrels of crude oil while itself has plenty of it.
>>At His second coming, the Hagia Sophia will be last thing on His Mind.
I meant “the world” when I said “all”.
As pretty as it is, I’d rather it be burned to the ground that let those mohammedan animals sully it again.
The sad reality is that we hav no more space program, at most just private companies testing out there space rockets.
actually it was turned into a mosque when the Ottomans conquered the Byzantines.
The secular government turned it into a museum. So there shouldn’t be a problem turning it back to a mosque, except that if there is an earthquake the dome might fall down again and kill a lot of folks.
Next step is that they will demand Ephesus be turned over to the Moslems.
Just wait and watch.
I was in Turkey many years ago, and I loved it.
They were very nice folks, and they loved their pets. They were, and I suppose they still are, very kind to little stray animals. They always had food out for them at the end of the day.
These are not the nasty Moslems one reads about. In fact, I never saw a head scarf. They were just every day folks according to our culture.
head scarf = headscarf.
>>The sad reality is that we hav no more space program, at most just private companies testing out there space rockets.
We don’t have a manned program. We still make the heavy lifters needed to send the black rock out of Earth orbit. I’m sure the Russians would happy to help out on this project. They’re doing a better job of defending Christianity than we are anyway.