Skip to comments.Persistent rumours suggest Hagia Sophia will be turned into a mosque
Posted on 09/03/2013 1:14:11 AM PDT by markomalley
Increasingly, rumours are circulating about the future transformation of the Cathedral of Saint Sophia into a mosque. This is worrisome because two other temples, also dedicated to Saint Sophia, were recently transformed from museums into mosques. The two churches in question are Hagia Sophia in Nicaea (Iznik), where the first ecumenical council was held, and Hagia Sophia in Trebizond (Trabzon).
For the record, with the fall of Constantinople (1453), all of the city's churches were converted into mosques, but with the advent of the Turkish Republic in 1923, the most important monuments were turned into museums.
Skylife, the free magazine handed out on the planes of Turkish Airlines, Turkey's national carrier, gives further credence to the rumours about the Hagia Sophia mosque.
As an important platform to showcase the AKP government's success to the world, the magazine recently published a long article in English and Turkish to get people accustomed to an already in its planning phase.
On the cover, the aim of this idea is clearly spelled out, with an image of the Cathedral of Saint Sophia described as the 'Mosque of the Sultans'.
The article emphasises the transformation of the cathedral into a mosque (in 1453) and its subsequent history. The long history of the church before the fall of Constantinople is largely ignored.
By carefully reading the article, one gets the idea that the main cathedral of Orthodox Christianity is the highest symbol of Constantinople's conquest by the Ottomans and a kind of reference point for the sultans. The article seeks to show that Sophia reached its peak, glory and splendour only after the conquest of Constantinople in 1453.
In the same article, Prof Semavi Eyice notes that Hagia Sophia's survival was due to Sinan, a 16th century Christian architect who converted to Islam under the Ottomans' janissary policy.
For his part, Prof Ahmet Akgunduz points out that Sophia is the living memory of Mehmet the Conqueror, and therefore must be restored as soon as possible to "its" spirituality, that of a mosque.
From a certain point of view, these rumours and views are not surprising, given how things have evolved in Turkey under the AKP party and Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
It is generally agreed that an attempt is being made to polarise Turkish society, extolling the Ottoman past and traditions, to cover up the crisis that is beginning to be felt in this part of the world, characterised by the Turkish lira's fall vis-à-vis the euro and the dollar, the Syria crisis, and Erdogan's interventionist policy after the Gezi Park standoff ahead of next year's election.
Speaking to Turkish newspaper Milliyet on the possible transformation of Hagia Sophia into a mosque, the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I said that if Saint Sophia could reopen as a place of worship, it should be as a Christian church; otherwise it should remain a museum.
It was a mosque before ...
We have to Mosque it before we can find out what’s in it.
Of course it will.
Turkey is full of islamonazis.
Shameless self promotion
And Mecca will be turned into a parking lot?
Praying that this does not happen.
Islam is a cancer on this world.
They won’t be happy until everything and everyone is under their control, and then they’ll turn on each other and eat each other alive.
I thought it was already a mosque?
It was, so technically (according to Muslim doctrine) it is, and ever shall be.
It isn’t a mosque. It was built by Christians, not Muzzies. They “won” it in war and turned it into a Mosque. It was a Christian church and always will be in my mind.
Please note that I said “(according to Muslim doctrine)”. They have also done the same with innumerable other churches in areas they conquered.
They are pulling the same thing with the Cordoba Cathedral, which during the occupation of Spain was also turned into a mosque, by showing up & demanding to be allowed to hold Muslim “prayers” (i.e. kiss the ground and fart at God.)
I think we should get together with Western Europe and solve the high unemployment rate among youth the old fashioned way: launch a crusade.
Russia will not be happy.
Someone needs to bury a pig on the site.
HAGHIA Sophia was an Eastern Orthodox Christian Cathedral from its building in 537AD until 1453 AD when it was looted desecrated and partially destroyed by invading Muslims Turks. They pierced her four corners with minarets and it was used as a mosque until the genocidaire Kemal Mustafa turned it into a museum in 1923 I believe.