Showing posts with label Hagia Sophia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hagia Sophia. Show all posts

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Istanbul: Hagia Sophia to Have a Permanent Imam -- De Facto Transformation Into a Mosque

(Istanbul) Since 2003 when the Islamic Party for Justice and Development (AKP) took control of the government in Turkey under  Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a re-Islamization of the country has taken place.
Since mid-19th century  the expulsion and oppression of Christians had begun. In the decade 1910-1920 the coup de grace against the Christians took place by a cruel and bloody genocide.  Armenians, Greeks and Chaldeans were killed, expelled or forced to convert to Islam. One hundred years ago  in Istanbul, then still Constantinople, it was said that it was half Christians and Muslims. About 25 percent of the residents in the  area of what is now ​​present-day Turkey were still Christians. Today there are only 0.2 percent.


The "Prestige" items of Re-Islamization is fulfilled by the conversion of famous ancient Byzantine churches. After the Turkish conquest of the country, they were made into mosques. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, a representative of a national Turkish secularism, made them museums. For years,  ACP Islamic circles have again called to make them mosques.

Magnificent frescoes in the Hagi Sophia of Trebizond: the four Evangelists surrounded by angels. Mosque since 2012.

In some cases, Erdogan's government is already putting the various proposals into practice.
  • The Hagia Sophia of Nicea which was built in the 6th century by Emperor Justinian I.  again became a mosque in 2011.  In 787 it had witnessed the Second Council of Nicaea. In 1337 Nicaea was conquered by the Muslims and made into a mosque. However, the Turks forfeited it and gave it up at  the end of the 19th century. Under Atatürk it became a museum in 1935.
  • 2012  Hagia Sophia of Trebizond followed.  It had been built in 1250 by Emperor Manuel I Comnenus on the site of an earlier church. In 1204 the Byzantine Empire had been conquered during the Fourth Crusade. The noble family of Comnenus established the Empire of Trebizond as a successor state. In the new capital, the Hagia Sophia was inspired by the famous model of Constantinople. Trebizond would even last a few more years than Constantinople. In 1461 the small empire on the Black Sea was conquered by the Muslims as well. Since the Basilica was a few kilometers outside the city walls, it was only desecrated in 1511 by the Turks and  converted into a mosque only in 1584. The monastery which was attached to the Basilica was inhabited until the early 18th century by Greek Orthodox monks. The use as a mosque ended in the 50s of the 20th century. In the spirit of Ataturk it was then made into a museum. At the same the church frescoes whitewashed by the Muslims were uncovered again.

Hagia Sophia of Constantinople, the magnificent Basilica of the East

The most significant and magnificent Basilica of the Byzantine Empire, Hagia Sophia of Constantinople is still a museum. The question is: for how long?

The Hagia Sophia was begun under the Emperor Constantine the Great  in 325. Under Emperor Justinian I it took its present form and was consecrated in 537. It is one of the outstanding monuments of late antiquity. The great dome which rests only on four pillars, represents an architectural masterpiece. It was the cathedral of the Patriarch of Constantinople and the coronation church of the Byzantine emperors. For 1128 years,  the Divine Liturgy was celebrated there, of which 916 years was in its form visible today.

After the conquest of Constantinople in 1453 by the Turks, it was desecrated and converted into a mosque in the same year.
The Hagia Sophia, the largest and most splendid Basilica of the East, the imperial church of East Rome was desecrated by the Turks and converted into a mosque after the conquest of Constantinople in 1453. The Christian basilica can be seen today. In the Muslim period, four minarets were built and the cross was replaced on the main dome with the crescent to mark the Islamic conquest. In 1931 it was converted into a museum and is the biggest tourist attraction of Istanbul.

Since 2010 Demand for Renewed Conversion Into a Mosque

Its conversion into a mosque was called for at the political level in 2010. In 2012 an unknown Muslim Turk named Talip Bozkurt from Kahramanmaras in Anatolia, made a proposal in the Turkish Parliament to transform the Hagia Sophia back into a mosque. The suggestion was taken up and entered into parliamentary debate in January 2013.

Hagia Sophia of Nicaea, in 787 meeting  place of a council. Mosque since 2011

The Orthodox Patriarch of Moscow and Constantinople demand its the return to the Christians. If the Hagia Sophia is to be reopened for prayer, then it should be a church again, says Patriarch Bartholomew
Due to its  formative significance on the cityscape of Istanbul, neither Muslims nor Turkish nationalists are ready to return it to the Christians. For the AKP government, the issue of re-Islamization of the monument has a special symbolic meaning. This also applies to the  Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, who was relected in  May. In order to understand the reasoning behind this, the words of the then Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey, Bulent Arinc, on the conversion of Hagia Sophia of Nicaea (Iznik Turkish) in 2011, are useful:
"With this act we have recovered the recognition of our ancestors. The Hagia Sophia of Iznik is the booty of our conquest and as such we have a right to it. A church can be converted into a mosque. "

From a Ramadan Mosque to a Permanent Imam

Last June, the Hagia Sophia was converted to a mosque during Ramadan for a month. This is only a first step, say observers. Since then, imams who entered the Basilica, were there to do two of the five Islamic daily prayers. Now the next step will take place. As the Turkish news agency Anadolu reported, a proposal was made jointly in Constantinople between the State Office for Religious Affairs and the Mufti of Fathi to nominate a permanent imam for the Hagia Sophia who will perform the five-day prayers daily.
With the appointment of Imam, conversion into a mosque is consummated fact, regardless of any  expressed decision.
For now there is still no response from the Greek Government and the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople. Athens has criticized attempts at Islamicization in the past as an "insult to the religious sensibility of millions of Christians", which is all the more serious because these have been "undertaken by a country that wants to join the European Union."
In the European and overall in the international press it is difficult to find mention of these initiatives toward Islamicization. "Not a good sign," writes  Corrispondenza Romana.
Text: Andreas Becker
Image: Wikicommons / MiL
Trans: Tancred
Link to Katholisches...

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Patriarch Bartholomaios I. Speaks Against the Use of Hagia Sophia as a Mosque

Rome / Istanbul (Catholic news / CBA). The Greek Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I is opposed to a conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque. The late antique building was "built to bear witness to the Christian Faith," the honorary head of world Orthodoxy said, according to the Vatican Press Office Asianews (Thursday). "If it returns to serve a religion, it can be no other than the Christian one." Bartholomew   commented on the opening of a summit meeting with other Orthodox church leaders at his official residence in Istanbul, the Phanar. Several politicians had brought it into the conversation with a view to the local elections in late March in Istanbul, among others by the ruling AKP of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to re-use of the Hagia Sophia as an Islamic place of worship. The Ecumenical Patriarch called the Hagia Sophia a testimony to the "historical and continuing presence of Christian thought in this country." To the claims for reopening the building as a mosque, he said: "We stand against this, however, and with us, all Christians, whether Orthodox, Catholic or Protestant." Hagia Sophia was built in the 6th Century on the site of an earlier building under Constantine by the Emperor Justinian I (527-565), and it later served as the coronation church of Byzantine rulers. After the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in 1453, it was converted into a mosque. The founding president of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in 1934 ordered its conversion into a museum.

 Source: © CBA. All rights reserved
 Photo: Bartholomew I - Image source: Wikipedia / Massimo Finizio

  Link to Kathnews...

 Trans: Tancred


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Cathedral of Cordoba Confiscated and Nationalize? -- Celebration from the Muslim Side

(Madrid) attacks against the Catholic Church have many faces. A recent venture appears in the style of the French Revolution as a snappy "joke”.  In the Spanish Andalusia Church opponents want to expropriate the famous Catholic cathedral of Cordoba and “nationalize" it. The southern Spanish city's cathedral is unique for architectural reasons. It has had an eventful history. Before the diocesan church was established  in 1236, it was used for several centuries an Islamic mosque, to be exact, the main mosque of the emirate and caliphate of Cordoba.
The Government of the Comunidad Autonoma de Analuciacan has legally examined whether there is a possibility of expropriation of the cathedral. The initiators of the expropriation action argue that the cathedral as a unique piece of architecture is a "World Heritage Site". But as such, it can not be owned by a religious community, and certainly not the Catholic Church, but must have its ownership  transferred to  the public. Modern robber barons in the name of the State,  have a lot of experience in which revolutionaries and their epigones of all ages.  Andalusia has been  governed  by a Leftist majority since the return to democracy. The provincial government originates without exception since 1982 from the ranks of the Socialist Party (PSOE).

First "Interfaith" House of God, Now Nationalization for "Cultural Reasons"

Cathedral of CordobaA few years ago the call came  to convert the Cathedral in deference to the Muslims to a place of interfaith worship. A claim, which was rejected by the Catholic Church. Therefore, the new venture aims to profanation and conversion of the church into a museum.
In their anti-clerical urge Spanish secularists making themselves spokesmen for Islamic interests under the heading "multiculturalism". The fact that the Cathedral was previously a mosque, will be brought largely  into play, that a non-denominational solution  had to be sought by the state for the church. A secular group initiated two weeks with an Internet petition, seeking  the expropriation of the Cathedral. They will  rob, nationalize and profane the Catholic Church. The Cathedral of Cordoba should be made into a museum and become a kind of second Hagia Sophia in Istanbul.

Spanish Leftist Petition Signed Mainly by  Muslims

The petition was signed by 88,000 people. "A strange alliance" as a spokesman for the Committee for the Protection of the cathedral said.  It was initiated by the petition of the Spanish Left, and "free-thinkers", but the majority of the signatures came from Muslims. Muslim groups and individuals have taken the ball and immediately mobilized for signing.
The petition has no legal relevance in itself. However, it was also signed by Maria Isabel Ambrosio, the competent Socialist government representative for the province of Cordoba. Ambrosio  also that gave a legal opinion in order to seek ways in which the cathedral could be expropriated and nationalized.
Against the Socialist expropriation a resistance is planning to upset it.  A few days ago they started collecting signatures for a petition on Internet. In it, the government of Andalusia is asked to take care of the real problems of the Andalusians, "instead of thinking about how to rob the Cathedral of Cordoba and expropriate."

Cathedral was Mosque, but the Mosque was Previously a Cathedral

With a plan of almost 180 meters long and 135 meters wide, the cathedral is one of the biggest constructions in the world. Today, it is fondly remembered in the context of multiculturalism and the increased immigration of Muslims to Europe to areas once occupied by Muslims which recalls  Catholic churches, because they had once been mosques. It is seldom mentioned, however, that these mosques were previously Churches that had been expropriated and converted by the Islamic conquerors. This also applies to the Cathedral of Cordoba. On a pagan temple of Emperor Constantine it  was already  a church at the time of the Great beginning of the 4th Century.  Around 550  the Visigoths built a new, magnificent diocesan church, which was dedicated to Saint  Vincent Martyr of Valencia.

Visigoth Diocesan Church was Desecrated in 786   and Expropriated by Muslims

When the Muslims conquered large parts of the Iberian Peninsula in 711, they forced in 714 a division of the cathedral. The Christians remained in only half of the diocesan church, while the other half was availed by the Muslims. A  difficult and conflict-ridden connivance to the detriment of Christians was the result. In 786 the new Muslim overlords had their dominion sufficiently secured so that they did not have to take more consideration for the Christian population. They confiscated the entire cathedral, they broke off the part and began to build a mosque in several phases, especially in the second half of the 10th Century, it  has been extended under the Caliph of Cordoba to  its gigantic proportions.
In 1236 Cordoba was recaptured for Castille during the Reconquista by King Ferdinand III.. The mosque was again converted into a Christian church and made  again into the diocesan church of the city. The largest renovation work was carried out in the 15 Century with the installation of a Gothic nave and early 16th Century by the construction of a Renaissance cathedral in Plateresque style. The Renaissance cathedral rises in the extent of one-sixth of the total mass high above the rest of the building complex.

Archaeologists have Uncovered Mosaics of Visigothic Church

Archaeological excavations in the 30s of the 20th Century, brought back parts, especially floor mosaics of the ancient Visigothic cathedral to light. It reminds one that the cathedral had  probably been a mosque for 450 years, but has been a christian church going back 800 years and was even before that  400 years.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
image: Wikicommons / tempos
Trans: Tancred
Link to Katholisches...

Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Turkish Parliament Discusses Turning Hagia Sophia into a Mosque

(Ankara) The Islamization of Turkey through symbolic interference continues.  In the Turkish Parliament a debate has begun over a proposal regarding Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, of old Constantinople, to turn it into a mosque.  The proposal was proposed by Talip Bozkurt, a citizen of Kahramanmaras in Anatolia. The Hagia Sophia, the largest and most glorious Basilica in the East, was used for 916 years as a church, till the sack of Constantinople by the Turks in 1453, when it was transformed into a mosque.  The typical Christian building style of the church is still unalterably visible.  In any event the church was accompanied by four minarets and the cross on the main dome was replaced by a half moon, to indicate Islamic occupation.

Since 1935, since the national Turkish government of Kemal Ataturk, the church was not a mosque, but a museum.  It counts today as the most visited museum in the world.  In its current form the church, erected in the 6th century is a magnet for people interested in art and culture.

The current petition committee of the Turkish Parliaments took the petition and seeks various organizations and institutions for a statement.  Various Islamic organizations, above all from Anatolia, are speaking out for the transformation to a mosque.  An Anatolian-Islamic youth organization is driving a campaign for it.

The application had been submitted, according to a decision of Prime Minister Recep Erdogan about another Christian church, called to transform the Hagia Sophia of Nicea again into a mosque, which had also been converted to a mosque after Ottoman conquest under Islamic rule and made a museum again under Attaturk. The Council of Nicea was held in the 1,700 year old Basilica in 787, where the Christians of East and West were united for the last time.  From 1331 to 1920 the church had been made into a mosque by the Rum Seljuks.  The Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey, Bulent Arinc says that to convert the Nicene Hagia Sophia into a mosque: "In this act we have recovered the recognition of our ancestors.  Hagia Sophia of Iznik was booty of our conquest and as such we have a right to it.  A church can be converted into a mosque".

Bulent Arinc was also Erdogan's henchman, in the summer of 2012 in Trabzon, where another famous church of the same name on the Black Sea was again converted into a mosque, having previously suffered the same fate as the other two basilicas which were transformed into museums. The Hagia Sophia of Trebizond, whose model was the famous Constantinople, was built in its present form in the 13th century.  It served as the last of the three churches under Turkish dominance.  1511 led to its profanation and transformation into a mosque.  From 1916 the Christians of the Black Sea were victims of an anti-Christian genocide, which at the same time was aimed at the Christian Armenians as against the Georgians and the Greeks.

"The Turkish Government is making one step forwards and a step backwards in its dialog with minorities",  commented the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomeus I in 2012 on the difficult situation of Christians in Turkey.

Link to katholisches...