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POLITICS > Turkish Deputy PM expresses ‘hope’ to see Hagia Sophia as mosque

ISTANBUL - Doğan News Agency

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“We are looking at a sad Hagia Sophia, but hopefully we will see it smiling again soon,” Deputy PM Arınç has said at a ceremony. DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah GÜREL

“We are looking at a sad Hagia Sophia, but hopefully we will see it smiling again soon,” Deputy PM Arınç has said at a ceremony. DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah GÜREL

Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç has expressed his hope to see Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia Museum be used as a mosque, while already calling it the “Hagia Sophia Mosque” while speaking to reporters.

“We currently stand next to the Hagia Sophia Mosque … we are looking at a sad Hagia Sophia, but hopefully we will see it smiling again soon,” Arınç said in a speech during the opening ceremony of a new Carpet Museum, located adjacent to the ancient Hagia Sophia complex.

He cited two other complexes with the same name in Turkey that have recently been converted into mosques.

“We have recently reopened two mosques with the same name to worship, one in İznik and the other in Trabzon. These were already mosques, but they were being used for different purposes,” Arınç said.

“There were no legal objections about İznik’s Hagia Sophia, but there was one about Trabzon’s. Fortunately, we now have [real] judges in Turkey, which is a state of law, and Trabzon’s Hagia Sophia has been legally registered as a mosque,” the deputy prime minister said.

“I won’t say that I wish same for Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia because you will misunderstand me. But these are what I feel when I talk about it,” he added.

Arınç also referred to an article of real estate law, which states that “Worship places cannot be used for purposes other than their aims.”

“Trabzon’s Hagia Sophia Mosque remained a mosque for centuries, but it turned into a museum after someone made a decision,” he added, particularly criticizing the “selling of tickets” to enter these buildings.

The status of Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia has come under increasing scrutiny in recent years, with a number of campaigns to open it for Muslim prayers being initiated, despite suggestions that this would be disrespectful to the building’s past as a church.

November/16/2013

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READER COMMENTS

Notice on comments

Ken Alden

12/24/2013 1:18:58 AM

To the Editor, not for posting. Sirs, this is a interesting tread for all Monoatheiestic Religeons, be it Hebrew, Cristian or Islam! Perhaps to revive this tread, could you post past opinions, that you deem areworthy of further discussions?

Andy Stevenson

12/22/2013 3:57:23 PM

Politics must have a lot to do with the advertised conversion of Hagia Sophia to a mosque. The wise compromise of a museum no longer suits those people who have not grown up to responsible living in the modern world. The wish to enter Christian Europe is incompatible with the wish to convert Hagia Sophia to a mosque. Could the Blue mosque be converted to a museum? Of course not. Is there any practical need to convert Hagia Sophia to a mosque? Of course not.

Sukuma Twende

12/22/2013 5:12:12 AM

Hagia Sophia should net become a mosque. If Turkey wants to show its prowess then go and build a mosque sublime enough to rival Hagia Sophia in architectural splendour. Tacking minarets on another religion's house of worship is not much to show for it. Stop reliving your conquests. Do something constructive for once. Build something of your own to show off.

Andy Stevenson

12/16/2013 1:38:35 PM

“With its architecture, its history and its legends, the Hagia Sophia is an edifice of Christian culture,” she told Turkish television. Addressing the Muslim majority in Turkey, she added: “You conquered this structure and you prayed there as Muslims for centuries, but that does not change the fact that this is a Christian building with some minarets tacked on.” “As Muslims, we want it to be a mosque, but we also have to think of the foreigners and their rights,”

Ken Alden

12/11/2013 3:05:10 PM

Deacon James, I'm inclined to think of your posting as tongue-in-cheek humor, otherwise we would need another coming to chase away nueve-moneychangers! Will you agree with me, if I say that that the Creator, accepts all prayers that are cincere, stright from the hearth?

Andy Stevenson

12/11/2013 1:50:13 PM

Hagia Sophia has the potential of giving a unique example of people who really listen to their prophets. It could be the only place in the world where Christians and Muslims pray together to the same God in their own traditional ways. Of course this will not happen because it is too much to expect. It is too much to expect from people who ignore history and treat others as extremists and bad people. You need vision for something like this and I can't see much vision around.

Deacon James

12/11/2013 2:29:57 AM

Another novel idfor your consideration is to turn it into a mosque on Friday and a" Christian" Church on Sunday. I suggest charging 10mil Euro per each day. Selection would be made by your ministry of Culture who administer the facilities. The monies would be earmarked for Hagia Sofia: Admin, Maintenance, transportation of pilgrims and grounds keeping. I can't wait to see a Billy Graham Crusade there and the Minarets calling the Christians to service with voices and lasers pointing to heaven. z

Andy Stevenson

12/10/2013 2:51:14 PM

Dear Ken, we miss your postings. We really do. It looks that you decided not to flag your beliefs to the world any more because you realised how much harm you were inflicting to your cause of converting Hagia Sophia to a mosque. I have to say that finally you show some wisdom with your silence. Maybe soon you will convert to the idea of returning Hagia Sophia to the descendents of the people who built it. The Turks didn't build it. Did they? Did they get it as a gift? How did they get it?

Ken Alden

12/9/2013 2:36:39 PM

Dear Ah. Anderson, your last posting has been noted but not read, if one has read one of them, one has read all of them, they are poor imitation your narcissistic idol Faundalis! Scoot, go play in the treffic and you get all the attention you crave for.

Harry Foundalis

12/9/2013 2:07:45 PM

Ken Alden: zero! ☺ ☺ ............ Now concentrate on Andy Stevenson's question of 12/9/2013 2:36:43 AM — don’t pretend you didn’t see it.
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