[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Brief History of Hagia Sophia

In the month of July, precisely on 11th of July 2020, the Turkish Supreme court gave a final judgement after series of court cases contesting the ownership of this iconic building. Many court cases have been hear over several years until this final one was declared and the entire world was talking about it. What exactly was the issue every one was talking about? as you would agree with me that everything concerning Islam and Muslims, to the western media is a hot news and hot news does not only sell fast, but hot negative news is a jackpot.

After the judgement which seeks to determine the real ownership of this iconic building situated in the heart of Istanbul, the world famous Turkish capital, the turkish govern

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ment of Recep Tayyip Erdogan immediately ordered the current structure used as a museum to be converted back to a mosque, then the western world and news media began to attack and criticizing the move as illegal and condemnable, whereas the truth was far from these outcries.

Let us look at the history behind the move. The Hagia Sophia (about 1,500 years old) was built by the eastern Roman emperor Justinian I as the Christian cathedral of Constantinople for the state church of the Roman Empire between 532 and 537, and remain that way until the Christian crusaders converted it to a catholic cathedral in 1204 and remain so for 57 years until the christian Byzantine came to power and it was re-converted to Greek orthodox Cathedral which happens to be the largest church in the world at that time. It served as a center of religious, political, and artistic life for the Byzantine world and has provided us with many useful scholarly insights into the period.

When the Ottoman ruler, Sultan Mehmet Fatih came to power after conquering constantinople in 1453 (Hagia Sophia), it was documented that he bought the property and converted it to a mosque until 1931. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk who became the then ruler of Turkey, then took over the mosque property and ordered that it be designated and declared a secular place of worship. He then decreed that the mosque again be converted to a museum and has remained so since 1935 for 85 years until the supreme court judgement of July 11, 2020 reversed that decree passed by Ataturk was wrong and unconstitutional.

The government of Mr. Erdogan immediately re-converted it back to a mosque and he also attended the first friday prayer that was held at the iconic mosque. He also signed into law and ordered that this property be transferred away from its current management i.e, Turkish Tourism board to the department of religious affairs.

by, Ak. A-Ipaye