The danger for the structure of Hagia Sophia is pointed out by the recent assignment for the construction of toilets in Hagia Sophia, a competition that provokes the reactions of the scientists.
As reported by ethnos.gr, the General Directorate of Institutions which is under the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism has announced a tender for the construction of toilets in Hagia Sophia, although the famous Turkish History professor, İlber Ortaylı, had warned two years ago of the dangers of such a move for the building, as no sewers can be created under Hagia Sophia.
“What will we do if 3.5 million visitors (per year) ‘leave’ one liter each? It is so absurd and the discussion is so silly and stupid. No one can say what kind of effect it will have on the structure of the building. We do not know the infrastructure underneath the building. Because there is no study, they do not allow a study,” he had complained. A statement that is being retrieved today by the Turkish media to criticize the decision to build a toilet inside the monument.
İlber Ortaylı had blasted the Turkish authorities who had been planning it for 2 years, saying characteristically “You can not place a toilet everywhere. Make it at your home. For 1,500 years, Hagia Sophia has not been a public toilet. For 1,500 years visitors do not come to Hagia Sophia to use it as their toilet.”
The same was claimed by the well-known Turkish historian for the large mosques of the country, as well as for the Topkapı Palace. Despite the reactions of the scientists, the project was finally assigned on October 15, 2020 to Iras Yapı Organizasyon A.Ş., a company that maintains close relations with politicians close to Turkish President Erdoğan, for 950 thousand pounds (102 thousand euros) and the construction of the toilets is scheduled to be completed by August 11, 2021.