Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has made new provocative statements. Addressing his party officials this time, he stressed that “the Hagia Sophia mosque will be open to the public, like the Sultanahmet Mosque (Blue Mosque) and the Suleymaniye Mosque.”
He characteristically noted that “Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror was the leader of the Orthodox too, their ruler. We also have a church of the Roman Orthodox. Hagia Sophia was a mosque and had been turned into a museum. Now it has become a mosque again,” Tayyip Erdogan concluded according to skai.gr.
The first prayer in Hagia Sophia, after the decision to convert it into a mosque, is scheduled to take place on July 24, the anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Lausanne.
According to ANT1, the first imam of Hagia Sophia will be from Bosnia and Herzegovina, in an effort by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to signal that the conversion of the monument into a mosque is a decision that concerns all Muslims.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan will be present, as he implicitly implied, on July 24 when Hagia Sophia will reopen as a mosque after 1934. And he “promised” that the temple-symbol would not be closed to anyone and that the hagiographies would be preserved.
At the meeting of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), the main topic of discussion was the opening of Hagia Sophia, while as it is heard by the Turkish government, many party officials thanked the Turkish president for his determination to convert Hagia Sophia into a mosque again, and expressed their desire to attend the “inauguration” on July 24, as thetoc.gr reports citing a Hürriyet article.
“There is no need to invite you. We will all be there together. We will wait for you,” Erdogan said, indirectly confirming that he will also be in Hagia Sophia when it reopens as a mosque.
The Turkish president said that in his telephone conversations with foreign leaders, he told them that “it was a decision of the Supreme Court to open Hagia Sophia as a place of worship. Hagia Sophia is not just a place of worship for Muslims. We will protect Hagia Sophia and now you can visit it freely. It is a common heritage of mankind.”