Eregli, September 25, 2014
Muslim prayers are being performed in another ancient Orthodox Church, reports AgionOros.
The Hagia Sophia Church in Eregli (the Greek form is Heraclea) has become the ninth Hagia Sophia Church converted into a mosque by Turks over recent years.
The Orthodox Church was given a new name by the Turkish authorities – the Orhan Mosque, in honor of the Turkish Sultan Orhan I (who reigned from 1326 till 1359).
The Turkish historian Recep Cetin, speaking at the unveiling of the new mosque, noted the “historic significance of the event”: “Hagia Sophia in Eregli is already the ninth church with such name, converted into a Muslim mosque”.
Earlier the Hagia Sophia Cathedral in Trabzon (Trebizond) and the Hagia Sophia Church in Nicaea (it was the very church where the Seventh Ecumenical Council was held) had been given to the Muslim community. The importance of this event can scarcely be overestimated, since the Hagia Sophia Cathedral in Heraclea is more ancient than the famous Hagia Sophia Church in Constantinople. According to the historians’ information, it was built under the Roman Emperor Theodosius II, that is, between 408 and 450 AD.