Recep Tayyip Erdogan appeared immovable in his intention to turn Hagia Sophia into a mosque, just a few hours after the “break” that UNESCO tried to apply with a source of the organization saying that it is a World Heritage Site, and such a decision should be submitted to the competent UNESCO committee and approved, in order to proceed.
“For years, our nation waited to see the mosque of Hagia Sophia. It was a mistake we made it a museum. Since there is such a demand, it is time to take this step,” the Turkish president said in an interview with A Haber.
“Hagia Sophia will no longer be called a museum. We will remember Hagia Sophia as a mosque. I have ideas and have shared them with my friends, “he added.
Erdogan even attempted to link the future of Hagia Sophia to the treatment of the Al-Aksa mosque in Jerusalem, which is a holy place for Islam. “Those who are silent when the Al-Aksa mosque is attacked can not tell us what to do about the status of Hagia Sophia,” the Turkish president said.
Speaking in Trebizond, the Turkish president had attempted to give an international dimension to his move, arguing that changing the status of Hagia Sophia from a temple-museum to a mosque would be a sort of response to the decision of the American president Donald Trump to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.