Istanbul’s famous sacral building, the Temple of God’s Wisdom also known as the Hagia Sophia, should officially become a mosque, according to one of Turkey’s religious groups. The Turkish Supreme Court will begin hearing the motion on Thursday. The information was provided by the AP agency.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has spoken about this possibility in the past. And some Turks agree with him. “If the temple becomes a mosque again, the legacy of our ancestors will return. The transformation into a mosque will not affect tourism. And our nation will once again be connected with its wealth of values,” said Ezgi Ozbek, an Istanbul resident.
But many Turks do not agree with the transformation. “Atatürk of Hagia Sophie made a museum to highlight his efforts to secularize Turkey. And 100 years later, Erdogan is trying to do the opposite,” said Soner Cagaptay, author of the book on current Turkish President.
“Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I also criticized.” The conversion of the Hagia Sophia would turn millions of Christians around the world against Islam. The Hagia Sophia is a center where East and West meet in peace. A conversion of the temple would completely destroy the idea, “he said. Greece also opposed the change.
The temple was built in the sixth century in the then Byzantine Empire and until 1520 it was the largest Christian cathedral in the world. After the conquest of Constantinople by the Turks, it became a mosque. In 1934, the then President of Turkey and reformer Mustafa Kemal Atatürk had the mosque secularized, creating the current museum.