• EPICENTER NEWS MEDIA

World Heritage Site Hagia Sophia To Be Made a Mosque

Updated: Jul 24

1. TURKEY’S PRESIDENT ERDOGAN HAS DECLARED THAT THE HAGIA SOPHIA, A WORLD HERITAGE SITE, WILL NOW BE OPEN TO MUSLIM WORSHIP.


2. HISTORICALLY, THE HAGIA SOPHIA DID OPERATE AS A MOSQUE. BUT, SINCE 1935, THE HAGIA SOPHIA FUNCTIONED AS A MUSEUM TO MAKE TURKEY A MORE SECULAR STATE AND TO PREVENT ANY INTER-RELIGIOUS RIOTS THAT WOULD GET TRIGGERED IF IT WOULD BE MADE A BASILICA OR A MOSQUE.


3. FOR A LONG TIME, THE MUSLIMS IN TURKEY WANTED IT TO BE CONVERTED BACK TO A MOSQUE, BECAUSE IT WAS PROFOUNDLY SYMBOLIC, AND TURKEY’S PRESIDENT ERDOGAN BACKED THIS MOVEMENT. BUT IT ALSO FACED CRTISISM FROM RELIGIOUS AND POLITICAL LEADERS WORLDWIDE BECAUSE ACCORDING TO THEM, THE STRUCTURE BELONGS TO HUMANITY AND NOT JUST TO TURKEY OR ANY PARTICULAR RELIGION, IT IS A BRIDGE BETWEEN TWO FAITHS AND A SYMBOL OF CO-EXISTANCE. MANY NATIONS LIKE THE US, RUSSIA, GREECE ALONG WITH UNESCO EPRESSED SIMILAR CONCERNS.


4. FEW SAID THAT THIS MOVE WAS MADE MERELY TO DIVERT PEOPLE’S ATTENTION FROM THE ECONOMIC DAMAGE DONE BY THE PANDEMIC, ESPECIALLY THE 12% DECLINE IN GDP DUE TO THE LOCKDOWN.


5. DEFENDING THE MOVE, PRESIDENT ERDOGAN SAID THAT THE COUNTRY HAS EXCERCISED ITS SOVREIGN RIGHT- ITS RIGHT TO MAKE NATIONAL DECISIONS WITHOUT FOREIGN INTERVENTION, OVER THE MONUMENT AND WAS REPRESENTING THE WILL OF MANY TURKS.


6. THE MANAGEMENT AND CONTROL OF THE HAGIA SOPHIA HAS BEEN TRANSFERRED TO THE RELIGIOUS AFFAIRS DIRECTORATE, WHICH WORKS IN ACCORDANCE WITH CONCERNS REGARDING THE BELIEFS, ETHICS AND KNOWLEDGE ISLAM.


7. HOWEVER, THE SITE WILL BE OPEN TO NON-MUSLIMS AND NO ENTRY FEE WILL BE CHARGED. THE MEDIEVIAL MOSAICS AND POTRAITS OF IMPERIAL CHRITIAN EMPERORS WILL ALSO NOT BE COVERED OR CHANGED.


8. THIS MOVE MIGHT BRING HAPPINESS TO THE MANY MULIMS PRESENT IN TURKEY. BUT, DUE TO THIS MOVE, THE GOVERNMENT WILL LOSE A LARGE PORTION OF POTENTIAL REVENUE. MOST IMPORTANTLY, THE HAGIA SOPHIA MIGHT ALSO LOSE ITS WORLD HERITAGE SITE STATUS.


Reporter: Pranav M

Bangalore, India | epicenter.newsmedia@gmail.com

  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • RSS