Turkish leader calls to paint over seraphim in dome of Agia Sophia, conversion to mosque reportedly already underway

Istanbul, June 16, 2020

Photo: architectural-review.com Photo: architectural-review.com As Turkish officials await the court hearing on the possibility of converting the world-famous Agia Sophia Museum back into a mosque, preparations for the change are reportedly already underway.

In this vein, the leader of the Saadet Partisi Islamist political party, Abdullah Sevim, called for Turkey to immediately take action and paint over the faces of the seraphim in the dome of the 6th-century Orthodox cathedral-turned-mosque-turned-museum, reports the Orthodoxia News Agency.

“There’s no need to wait for the decision of the State Council. We’ve already purchased the lime,” Sevim wrote on his Twitter page, calling everyone to join in a Muslim prayer to be held at Agia Sophia by President Erdogan.

The State Council will review the possibility of changing the status of Agia Sophia from a mosque to a museum, thus canceling the presidential decree of 1934 that turned it into a museum in the first place, on July 2.

Other preparations towards converting it back into a mosque are reportedly underway already. According to Turkish historian and writer Ahmet Anapali, more than 75,000 sq. ft. worth of carpets used in Islamic prayers have already been purchased, paid for by a private individual, reports Romfea with reference to the Turkish newspaper Yeni Akit Gazetesi.

The carpets are purple, the color of the time of Mehmet the Conqueror. According to Anapali, the information was provided to him by “the most reliable person in the country after Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.”

“It is the desire of all of us to break the chains of Agia Sophia by opening it to Muslim prayer. This was the wish of Sultan Mehmet,” Turkish Minister of Justice Abdulhamit Gül also said yesterday.

While Turkish officials have proclaimed that Agia Sophia is on their territory and they can do with it as they please, UNESCO General Director Audrey Azoulay has made it clear that the international organization is keeping a close eye on developments in Turkey.

Agia Sophia has been included as a UNESCO World Heritage site as a museum since 1985. As Azoulay explains, a change in status to the monument requires UNESCO’s permission.

Meanwhile, the United States continues to insist on preserving Agia Sophia as a multi-religious monument. The Holy Synod of the Church of Greece also earlier called for Turkey to respect the monument and preserve its present status.

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Friedberg Jeffrey A.6/19/2020 4:38 am
Did i read that the building as a church predates this so-called Muslim "religion?"
A Greek of Constantinople.6/18/2020 3:21 am
Vandalism and destruction of Mosques in Greece will follow. If this happens, the Turks will have more than just angry Greeks to deal with. This is UNESCO World Heritage.. Try it.
Rdr Andreas Moran6/17/2020 12:11 pm
Isaiah 66:1-2; Acts 17:24.
Basil6/17/2020 11:38 am
Not happy about this but maybe this will liberate us from Byzantine nostalgia and actually help us focus in evangelizing the cultures of the world into holy Orthodoxy
Dionysius Redington6/17/2020 9:16 am
They want to convert an old building from a museum into a mosque. I can think of several more calamitous things that have happened in the Orthodox world in the last two years. Dionysius Redington Lubbock, Texas
Zoe6/17/2020 8:31 am
This is very sad news. May God preserve what is His.
Alexander Leitner6/16/2020 9:02 pm
God will not help the greeks! Many Elders have spoken about. Even the Panhagia. Only the russians will take it back. This is Gods will.
honingbij6/16/2020 8:58 pm
Demons!! "Let God arise, let His enemies be scattered. Let them that hate Him flee from before His face."
ACatharina6/16/2020 8:34 pm
It doesn't matter what they plan or what preparations are underway... if God wills, all their effort will be in vain... support constructions may collapse, paint won't adhere to the surface etc....
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