Posts Tagged ‘Hagia Sophia’

Türkiye denies Hagia Sophia was ‘sold’ to Vatican

Thursday, October 5th, 2023

Turkish Presidency’s Communications Directorate has debunked a series of fake news and disinformation spreading on social media, including about the “sale” of Istanbul’s cultural and religious landmark Hagia Sophia to the Vatican. In a weekly bulletin against disinformation, the Directorate refuted the claims about a $38 billion deal with the Vatican for Hagia Sophia, stressing Read more

Unique colours together make God visible

Monday, November 29th, 2021

My trusty Oxford dictionary defines the word mosaic as “a picture or pattern made by placing together small pieces of glass, stone, etc of different colours.” A magnificent example of such a mosaic is in the south gallery of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey. The mosaic is what as known as the Deesis mosaic. The Read more

Turkey is approaching crossroads

Thursday, July 23rd, 2020

By reconverting the Hagia Sophia into a mosque and holding celebratory prayers there for the cameras, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan seems keen to divert attention from the fact that his country is entering a new phase of acute political and financial turmoil. The Hagia Sophia dates to the sixth century, and for almost a Read more

World Council of Churches appeals Hagia Sophia mosque decision

Thursday, July 16th, 2020

The World Council of Churches has written to Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to change his mind about turning the Hagia Sophia museum back into a mosque. The Council, which represents 350 Churches and over 500 million Christians, says the move would sow division. The Hagia Sophia has been a museum since 1934. The president Read more

Pope Francis expresses sadness after Hagia Sophia is declared a mosque

Monday, July 13th, 2020

Pope Francis expressed his sadness Sunday after Turkey’s decision to convert the former Byzantine cathedral of Hagia Sophia back into a mosque. In improvised remarks after reciting the Angelus, the pope recalled that July 12 is Sea Sunday, when the worldwide Church prays for seafarers. “And the sea carries me a little farther away in Read more

Divisive plan to turn Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia into a mosque

Thursday, July 2nd, 2020

Turning Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia back into a mosque would be divisive, says Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, who is the Patriarch of the world’s Orthodox Christians. At present the fate of the building, that has been a museum since 1934, rests on an upcoming Turkish court ruling. President Tayyip Erdogan proposed restoring the mosque status of the Read more

Turkish Catholic bishops won’t contest plan to turn ancient cathedral into a mosque

Monday, June 22nd, 2020

Turkish Catholic bishops have pledged not to contest plans to turn Istanbul’s ancient Hagia Sophia cathedral that now serves as a museum into a Muslim place of worship. In announcing their decision June 18, the bishops backed government claims that the monument’s future is a question of national sovereignty. “We are a church deprived of Read more

Patriarch opposes plan to make Hagia Sofia a mosque

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

The Greek Orthodox Church in Turkey is strongly opposing plans to reconvert Istanbul’s Hagia Sofia basilica into a mosque. ”We want Santa Sofia to remain a museum. It was a Christian church for over 1000 years,” Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople has said. ”If it is to be reconsecrated, then it should go back Read more

Thousands pray for Istanbul landmark to become mosque

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

Thousands of devout Muslims prayed outside Turkey’s historic Hagia Sophia museum on Saturday to protest a 1934 law that bars religious services at the former church and mosque. Worshippers shouted, “Break the chains, let Hagia Sophia Mosque open,” and “God is great” before kneeling in prayer as tourists looked on Turkey’s secular laws prevent Muslims Read more

Muslim activists want to pray in the Hagia Sophia

Monday, May 21st, 2012

A group of Turkish Muslim activists today asked the government of conservative Islamic Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan to make the Hagia Sophia a place for Islamic prayer again, as happened after it was conquered in 1453 by Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II. Originally built as a Christian church, the Hagia Sophia was converted to a mosque Read more