عدد المساهمات : 38334
تاريخ التسجيل : 22/09/2009
|موضوع: Turkey: Christians concerned Hagia Sophia could soon become a mosque السبت 8 مارس 2014 - 13:33|| |
Turkey: Christians concerned Hagia Sophia could soon become a mosque
The Basilica (today a museum) which stands as a symbol of Christianity in Istanbul could become a place of Islamic worship once again. The rumour is stirring up a storm
VATICAN INSIDER ROME
- اقتباس :
Concern has spread across the Christian community after Turkish media suggested that the Basilica of Hagia Sophia, which was once a church, then a mosque and now a museum, could become a centre of Islamic worship once again in the coming months spreading. The decision has been attributed to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, ANSA news agency reports.
“Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I reiterated his firm opposition to such a plan, “according to Radikal newspaper and other media. “We will oppose this, as will all Christians be they Orthodox, Catholic or Protestant'', he said at meeting with scholars on the eve of the Sinaxis, a summit of Orthodox churches kicking off Istanbul on Thursday. ''The Hagia Sophia basilica was built as a testament to Christian faith and if it is to be returned to a cult, it cannot be to any other than the Christian one',” AsiaNews quoted the patriarch as saying.
Erdoğan’s government is “beset by a corruption scandal involving key figures in his Islamic regime.” According to Radikal, he may therefore “try to pin his hopes of recovering public approval on turning Hagia Sophia into a mosque on the anniversary of the 1453 Ottoman conquest of Constantinople, which falls in May. The great Byzantine basilica became a mosque with the Ottoman conquest, and in 1934 was turned into a museum drawing millions of visitors a year by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who founded the modern secular Turkish Republic in 1923. Islamic groups in recent weeks have gone on the offensive to have Hagia Sophia turned back into a mosque,” ANSA writes. In 1934, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who founded the secular Turkish republic in 1923, turned the mosque into a museum that welcomes millions of visitors each year.
“Islamic groups in recent weeks have gone on the offensive to have Hagia Sophia turned back into a mosque, garnering authoritative names from the Turkish nomenklatura to champion their cause in what is a key electoral year for an embattled Erdoğan, with administrative, presidential and legislative elections ahead. While Erdoğan in the past called for everyone to ''leave Hagia Sophia alone'', the political climate has now changed. Turkey's two remaining Hagia Sophia (Greek for Holy Wisdom) basilicas and museums, in the cities of Trabzon Nicaea, have in recent months been converted into mosques. The Greek government recently added its voice against the growing pressure to convert Istanbul's Hagia Sophia as well,” ANSA reports.
“Turkish officials’ repeated statements regarding the conversion of Christian Byzantine churches into mosques are an insult to the religious sensitivity of millions of Christians,” the Greek government said in a statement, adding that such gestures were anachronistic and incomprehensible coming from a country that claims it wants full membership in the EU.