WHOSE DA’WAH IS HAGIA SOPHIA ANYWAY?
Turkey is within its sovereign right to determine the status of Haga Sophia based on its own historic heritage and values. That said, there is no urgency to convert it back to mosque when the country is facing more pressing issues
- Bekir L. Yıldırım
The Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya in Turkish), built as a patriarchal basilica (532-537), has changed status several times throughout its tumultuous history. It remained as the Eastern Orthodox cathedral until 1453 when Fatih Sultan Mehmed (Mehmed the Conqueror) took Istanbul, except for the brief Latin Crusader occupation in the 13th century, during which it served as a Roman Catholic cathedral. Fatih converted the building into an imperial mosque. During the reign of Fatih and his successor sultans, many repairs were done. Minarets and eventually buildings including a madrasa, an imaret (soup kitchen), sultans’ tombs and library were also added, transforming it into a külliye or a religioussocial complex. As a result of these additions during the Ottoman era, the Hagia Sophia gained an added Islamic-Ottoman character. It remained in the mosque-külliye status until 1931 when it was closed for repairs and minor modifications for its eventual conversion to a museum in 1935, a status it has held since. As a result of its history, it held and still does, a religious as well as historic significance to both Orthodox Christians and Muslim Turks, in addition to its status as an architectural wonder of the world. The building which some art historians include among the “seven wonders of the medieval era,” holds world heritage site designation by UNESCO.
Whose da’wah is Hagia Sophia anyway?
Mayıs 23, 2014 Geliştirici: Bekir L. Yildirim