Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Hagia Sophia to be Turned into a Center of Knowledge About Islam


The President of Religious Affairs in Turkey, Imam Ali Erbas, presented his plans last weekend and those of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan regarding Hagia Sophia, which he promotes as a Symbol of Conquest and the Sovereignty of Islam. At the same time, the Turkish President describes the decision on Hagia Sophia as "a harbinger of a new era in world politics."

"After 86 years of longing, we have experienced the happiness of returning Hagia Sophia to its original identity," Erdogan told the Clerics, adding: "We have lived from the early years of our youth hoping to hear the call for prayer from the minarets of Hagia Sophia. The opening of Hagia Sophia as a mosque was the sweetest fruit we tasted after 86 years of a fair, democratic and patient struggle."

He even referred to the opening of the Soumela Monastery, which, according to Erdogan, showed that Turkey has no complex in terms of religious freedom.

"By exercising its sovereignty, Turkey has heralded a new era in world politics. With the decision of Hagia Sophia, the shadow that covered its independence was removed and it was saved from its shackles," he pointed out, and added: "It was joyful news for us that the Museum of Chora was turned into a mosque immediately afterwards. On the other hand, after Hagia Sophia, the opening of the Soumela Monastery, after the restoration works were completed, showed to everyone, friends and enemies, that our country has no complex regarding religious freedom."

On the part of Ali Erbas, summarizing the results of the Symposium that took place last Friday and weekend in Istanbul, he underlined: "I am very proud that a symposium was organized in a very short time after the reopening of Hagia Sophia as a mosque. I thank all those who contributed," he stressed.
The head of Religious Affairs stressed that his plans are to continue "this tradition that began with the symposium," and to give the opportunity to scholars, teachers and muftis to give lectures in Hagia Sophia.
"I hope we will continue to keep this tradition alive with lessons on religion, catechism and Islam," he said.

Recalling that Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque in 1453, Mr. Erbas continued as follows:

"Hagia Sophia has maintained its identity as a mosque until today. However, it was later turned into a museum. Now Hagia Sophia was not converted from a church to a mosque, it was simply allowed for worship in the mosque to take place again. Everyone should know that Hagia Sophia officially retained its identity as a mosque and this is proven by documents. Those who claim otherwise are wrong."
He even revealed that his plans are to create an exhibition on the "Art of Hagia Sophia" that will showcase Turkish efforts to save the monument.

"Once the epidemic is over, as soon as possible, I sincerely hope to have a meeting with scientists in the heart of Istanbul right next to Hagia Sophia and open an exhibition titled Hagia Sophia ... The goal is for all our mosques and especially Hagia Sophia to become centers of knowledge about Islam, as before," he added.
 Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.