Nitpicky? Hell yes.
Started by Recusant, July 10, 2020, 02:26:26 AM
QuoteSince it was built in the 6th Century, changing hands from empire to empire, Hagia Sophia has been a Byzantine cathedral, a mosque under the Ottomans and finally a museum, making it one of the world's most potent symbols of Christian-Muslim rivalry and of Turkey's more recent devotion to secularism.Now President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is making moves to declare it a working mosque once more, fulfilling a dream for himself, his supporters and conservative Muslims far beyond Turkey's shores — but threatening to set off an international furore.The very idea of changing the monument's status has escalated tensions with Turkey's longtime rival, Greece; upset Christians around the world; and set off a chorus of dismay from political and religious leaders as diverse as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church.Erdogan's opponents say he has raised the issue of restoring Hagia Sophia as a mosque every time he has faced a political crisis, using it to stir supporters in his nationalist and conservative religious base.But given the severity of the challenges Erdogan faces after 18 years at the helm of Turkish politics, there may be more reason than ever to take the talk seriously. Having lost Istanbul in local elections last year, the president has watched the standing of his party continue to slide in the polls as the COVID-19 pandemic has further undone a vulnerable economy.[Continues . . .]
QuoteThe world-famous Hagia Sophia museum in Istanbul - originally founded as a cathedral - has been turned back into a mosque.Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the decision after a court annulled the site's museum status.Built 1,500 years ago as an Orthodox Christian cathedral, Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque after the Ottoman conquest in 1453.In 1934 it became a museum and is now a Unesco World Heritage site.Islamists in Turkey long called for it to be converted to a mosque but secular opposition members opposed the move. The proposal prompted criticism from religious and political leaders worldwide.Defending the decision, President Erdogan stressed that the country had exercised its sovereign right in converting it back to a mosque.He told a press conference the first Muslim prayers would be held inside the building on 24 July."Like all our mosques, the doors of Hagia Sophia will be wide open to locals and foreigners, Muslims and non-Muslims," he added.[Continues . . .]