Turning of Hagia Sophia Museum into Mosque Once Again

3 min read

There is a lot much going around on controversial ” Hagia Sophia Museum”. This is one of the important Byzantine structure ever built. The term Hagia Sophia means, “holy wisdom”. In the recent turn of events in Turkey, Turkey has once again reverted Istanbul Museum into Mosque. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the first Muslim Prayer would be held in the Hagia Sophia museum on July 24.

Hagia Sophia Museum turns into a mosque

Hagia sophia Museum turns into a mosque
Hagia Sophia Museum turns into a mosque

Since the year 1934, the iconic building has served as a museum. But now after the presidential decree, there will be a transfer of building from the ministry of culture to the presidency of the religious affair.

Shortly after the announcement, the first call to prayer was done at the site. Also immediately had broadcast on all Turkey’s main news channels. Meanwhile, all Hagia Sophia museum social media channels have been turned down. While defending the decision, President Erdogan says that it’s a result of sovereign rights. The building shall be open to all Muslims, non-Muslims, and foreign visitors.

This decision came after the top court cancelled a 1934 cabinet decision. A turkey’s secularizing founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk’s decision to preserve the then church turn mosque as a museum.

It is build in Istanbul, turkey in the 6th century of the Byzantine emperor. It combines a longitudinal basilica and a centralized building. This has a structure of a huge 32 metres (105 foot) main dome. Supported on pendentives and two semi-domes, one on either side of the longitudinal axis.

It comes under a UNESCO World Heritage Site (called the historic areas of Istanbul). For almost a millennium after its construction, it was the largest cathedral in all of Christianity.

This decision is facing backlash from the majority of the population including Pope Francis is too criticizing the move

Pope Francis in a few words describes how painful the decision is to him. He quotes, “my thoughts go to Istanbul. I think of Santa Sophia and I am very painful to see. This decision of Erdogan is facing a backlash and criticism from the whole world.

He stands in silence for several minutes at his weekly Angelus prayer on Sunday. He says, “the sea takes my thought a bit far, to Istanbul”.

The world council of churches, which represents 350 Christian churches has expressed their grief and dismay over this decision. He further adds that outrage and arrogance just don’t concern the church and Christianity but all of civilized humanity.

Even Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis condemn the act by giving an indication that it would bitter the relation with Greece and turkey. Russia calls this move as “regrettable “and hints in his speech to have a global talk before going for a decision.

History of Hagia Sophia Museum that you should know

It’s a feature of the Christian era Roman Empire and stands as a monument to artistic and architectural achievement. It was once a church, later a mosque and now a museum. And again, it has turned into a mosque.

Also, Hagia Sophia museum is  damage by a fire during a riot. It is  rebuild and enlarge by the Roman emperor Constans 1. In 1453 after the Turkish Conquest of Constantinople, Mehmed 2 repurpose it as a mosque. He did this with the addition of a wooden minaret (on the exterior, a tower used as the summons to prayer). Even a huge chandelier and mihrab (niche indicating the direction of Mecca) too.

Translate »