Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

Concerns Grow Over Converting Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia Church Into a Mosque

June 20, 2013 2:25 pm 13 comments

The Hagia Sophia. Photo: Arild VÃ¥gen.

JNS.org Amid fears in Turkey of the Islamist policies of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, concerns are growing over a government commission to convert the historic Hagia Sophia Church of Istanbul into a mosque.

“The desire to turn Hagia Sophia into a mosque is not about Muslims wanting a place to pray—as of 2010, there were 3,000 active mosques in Istanbul alone. Rather, it’s about their reveling, and trying to revivify, the glory days of Islamic jihad and conquest,” Shillman Fellow Raymond Ibrahim recently wrote, PJ Media reported.

The current church was built in 537 CE during the reign of Byzantine Emperor Justinian and became the seat of the Orthodox patriarch of Constantinople until the Ottoman invasion in 1453, when it was converted into a mosque. Then, following the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire after World War I, Turkey’s secular leader, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, converted the mosque into a museum.

But today, Turkey’s Islamist government is looking into reconverting the museum into a mosque. Turkey’s Hurriyet News reported last February that a parliamentary commission is considering an application to turn the Hagia Sophia into a place of Muslim worship.

Following the announcement, Turkey’s Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople stated, “We want Santa Sofia to remain a museum,” Catholic Culture reported.

13 Comments

  • Muslim Turk

    Turkey will stay as a MUSLIM COUNTRY FOREVER whether you like it or not. IT has been conquered by the OTTOMANS and will stay like that until this world ends. Turkey’s economy has been rising and has become a very powerful and strong country whilst Greece and many other European countries are struggling and suffering to pay of each other’s debts. Even the German prime minister and politicians resisted paying debts for Greece and asked them to sell their islands and companies, how insulting for a country to be in such state. That’s Europe two face countries together can’t even reach out a helping hand…THEREFORE First take care of your own country before you even ponder of such possibility of taking over such a powerful country. Referring to Ayasofya is no longer an Orthodox Church it has been a MOSQUE since MAY 29 1453, SO over 560 it has been a mosque/museum not a church…TO ALL THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE HOPES AND DREAMS get over it and look at the realistic side of life. Its so contradicting and ironic how Europe, America and Greece are playing two face peaceful humanitarian right serving countries. YOUR NOTHING BUT PUPPETS AND ONLY TRICK YOURSELVES TO BELIEVE YOUR OWN LIES….people aren’t dumb in this new age. We are well informed even before you take a step so think TWICE BEFORE you think of conquering…GAMES OVER LIARS !!!

    • And Jerusalem is Jewish, because it was reconquered by the israeli army, and it will forever remain jewish, and the mosques on the Temple mount will be demolished and the jewish temple rebuilt. End of islam in Jerusalem.

      • I find it extremely sad that you think that Hagia Sophia and the Temple Mount are the same. The true Israelites, descendants of Abraham, lost they’re claim on the Holy Land when they refused to acknowledge the prophethood of ysa (Jesus) the son of Mary. Also because they’re favorite pastime since musa(moses) peace be on him, was disobedience of God’s law, and murder of the prophets. After enduring the punishment of Diaspora, the “modern” state of Israel has now taken to butchery of Muslims who worship the same God as Christians and Jews, and think they have an eternal claim on the Holy Land, whether they are righteous or unrighteousness.

      • Well said. These people seem to forget that we could end all muslims with the push of a button. They have the mouth of a giant attached to
        the body of an ant.

    • Turkey has only survived because the christian west did not want a powerful country like Russia gaining access to the mediterranean. France and Britain saved you from the Russians. Ever since then Turkeys continued survival was down to playing sides with the more powerful Christian countries. When Turkey sided with Germany in WW1, It gave the British and French the excuse to take there Empire. If the Christians really wanted Hagia Sophia to become a Church again, It would. The only reason its not already is because its an orthodox Church.

    • Xi Chi Stigma. Even Muslims recognize Allah as the greatest deceiver. That makes them among the dumbest people on Earth today. Congrats.

  • This is such a BS article. This isn’t America. Turkey is a Muslim country and it can do whatever it wants. Just as they forced the conversion of the Hagia Sophia into a Museum, they can bring it back into making it a mosque.

    I don’t see why people try to get into other people’s businesses into what they should do and what they shouldn’t.

    I bet if it was your country, you wouldn’t let other people decide what should happen to our places of interest.

    • I wonder if Yusuf realizes that the Haga Sophia is no longer a church because at some point in the middle of the 15th Century, a bunch of Muslims got into some other peoples’ business.

      I wonder if Yusuf understands that Turkey was a Christian country until some Muslims decided to get into some other peoples’ business.

      I wonder if Yusuf has ever pondered the reason that Constantinople is now Istanbul. Perhaps it is because some Muslims got into some other peoples’ business.

      • fatima bibi sheikh

        Maybe Yusuf should go back to Turkmenistan and learn a little more before coming out into the big world…not ready for prime time yet.

    • Well, it was built as a church but I recognise that these days we appreciate it mainly as a remarkable architectural achievement, so I’m not interested in it becoming a church again. Why make an issue of it? Why not just let the whole world walk round in awe without imposed values as we do now?

    • Okay then, why some muslims want to pray in Cordoba cathedral? Isn’t it in spain where is a Christian country? This Hagia Sophia Cathedral was built by the Byzantines, the Greeks. May one day when Greece economy revives, the Christendom may reclaim the Constantinople.

    • Petros chambers

      Turkey is the worst country in the world , look back in your history and find one good thing about your country , all you have done is kill people and take over their lands . Konstantinoupoli was Greek an will always be … Maybe we should destroy all your mosques cause you don’t respect anything .

    • Might is right, when you rule the world, you can tell us what to do.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition. Comments written in all caps will be deleted.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Arts and Culture Jewish Identity Jewish ‘Scandal’ Star Says He Remains True to Religious Ritual, Despite Scheduling, Dietary Conflicts

    Jewish ‘Scandal’ Star Says He Remains True to Religious Ritual, Despite Scheduling, Dietary Conflicts

    A star of the hit TV show “Scandal” told the community website Quora.com that, throughout his acting career, he has remained faithful to his Judaism, even when it has caused him to forfeit gigs. Joshua Malina, who plays the character of David Rosen on the ABC political-thriller series, reminisced about his early days in Hollywood, when he had no agent and could only go to open-call auditions. At one of these — a try-out for a commercial — he said he waited on a line that was “maybe a city […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Huffington Post Accused of ‘Jew-Hatred’ After Tweeting ‘Offensive’ Joke About Comedian at Video Music Awards

    Huffington Post Accused of ‘Jew-Hatred’ After Tweeting ‘Offensive’ Joke About Comedian at Video Music Awards

    The Huffington Post is facing backlash after joking about a Jewish comedian’s  appearance at the Video Music Awards (VMAs) on Sunday night. Josh “The Fat Jew” Ostrovsky took part in Nick Jonas’ performance of his song “Bacon,” staged in a New York diner — in a cameo role as a waiter throwing a handful of bacon in the air. Commenting on the show, the Huffington Post tweeted, “not thrilled at the fat jew [he] wasted all that perfectly good bacon!!!!!!” The message angered many Twitter users, who thought the joke […]

    Read more →
  • Sports Israeli Fans Mob, Dance With Basketball Player Amar’e Stoudemire at First Jerusalem Team Practice (VIDEO)

    Israeli Fans Mob, Dance With Basketball Player Amar’e Stoudemire at First Jerusalem Team Practice (VIDEO)

    Israeli basketball fans mobbed Hapoel Jerusalem’s newest player, American pro Amar’e Stoudemire, dancing around with him during a practice open to the public. On Friday, the team posted a video on Twitter of the happy romp with fans jumping around Stoudemire, while chanting in Hebrew. Unfamiliar with the lyrics, Stoudemire pumps his fist in the air. The basketball player, who has Jewish roots on his mother’s side, also waved a flag emblazoned with Hapoel Jerusalem’s logo. The former New York Knicks forward retired from the NBA earlier […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Playboy Columnist Calls Israel’s ‘Burning Man’ Festival ‘Ultimate Revenge on Hitler’

    Playboy Columnist Calls Israel’s ‘Burning Man’ Festival ‘Ultimate Revenge on Hitler’

    The Israeli version of the famed American Burning Man music festival is the “ultimate revenge on Hitler,” according to a column in Playboy magazine on Thursday. In his column, Jeff Weiss also took note of the fact that Midburn — a five-day bacchanal in the Negev Desert, self-described as an event celebrating “a communal life style, creativity, art and radical self-expression” — began on June 8, the day of the Sarona Market terrorist attack in Tel Aviv, which left four people dead. Weiss asked rhetorically, “What could needle the mustached […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Author of New Book on Connection Between Jews, Punk Rock Describes Bands Flinging Gefilte Fish, Bagels at Audience (INTERVIEW)

    Author of New Book on Connection Between Jews, Punk Rock Describes Bands Flinging Gefilte Fish, Bagels at Audience (INTERVIEW)

    Some punk rockers integrate their Jewish identity into their music through food, the author of a new book on the topic told The Algemeiner on Wednesday. Michael Croland, author of Oy Oy Oy Gevalt! Jews and Punk, described the way different musicians express this connection. “One band is known for throwing gefilte fish in the mosh pit, and people at its concert slide around on it while dancing,” he recounted. “Another used to drink Manischewitz [sweet kosher] wine out of a shofar [the ram […]

    Read more →
  • Sports Scottish Soccer Club Manager Hails ‘Fantastic’ Jewish-State Visit After Victory Over Israeli Team (VIDEO)

    Scottish Soccer Club Manager Hails ‘Fantastic’ Jewish-State Visit After Victory Over Israeli Team (VIDEO)

    The manager of Scotland’s Celtic soccer club lauded Israel, after his team won a match against the Jewish state’s Hapoel Be’er Sheva on Tuesday night. Brendan Rodgers said at a post-match press conference: On behalf of the players, the people of Celtic and Scotland, Israel’s been fantastic for us. We came out here on Sunday, [and from] the hotel, the staff, we’ve been very, very warmly received. The atmosphere at the game was amazing and, obviously, one team has to lose, but you have a wonderful team here, […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Second Jaffa Jazz Festival to Reunite International, Israeli Musicians

    Second Jaffa Jazz Festival to Reunite International, Israeli Musicians

    For the second time, Israel will host the Jaffa Jazz Festival, according to Broadwayworld.com. The festival will unite 43 Israeli musicians and eight international artists for a three-day event. The program will include a special performance by an ensemble of top jazz students studying at Belgium’s Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp, the Belgrade Music Academy in Serbia, Israel’s Rimon School of Music and the jazz program of the Israel Conservatory of Music in Tel Aviv. There will also be a jazz show for children led by Israeli saxophonist […]

    Read more →
  • Sports Israel’s First NASCAR Driver Revved Up to Win

    Israel’s First NASCAR Driver Revved Up to Win

    JNS.org – As a young boy growing up in Ashdod, Israel, Alon Day got his first go-kart at age 9. By 15, he was racing them. Less than a decade later, Day has become the first Israeli professional race car driver on the NASCAR circuit. He made history by competing in NASCAR’s Xfinity Series race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 13. “Driving a race car is not like any other sport,” Day told JNS.org. “You are actually almost flying […]

    Read more →