A new act of vandalism has been revealed to have been committed at the iconic Hagia Sophia, which was converted to a mosque in 2020.
It has come out to light that archeologist Ömer Faruk Yavaşçay shared photos of the damaged structure in a tweet last month. Yavaşçay said that a water reservoir which dates back to the Ottoman Empire had been broken and shoes had been placed inside and next to it.
“I took this photo at 10.43 p.m. last night (April 24). [Unidentified] People broke the lid of the water reservoir from the Ottoman times and put their shoes inside and next to it. No one cares about this situation. [The ancient structure] needs help,” Yavaşçay tweeted on April 26.
Bu fotoğrafı dün gece (24 Nisan) saat 22.43'te Ayasofya Camiinde çektim, Osmanlı'dan kalma su haznesinin kapağını kırıp içine ve yanına ayakkabılarını koymuş insanlar,kimsenin umurunda değil bu durum,Yardıma ihtiyacı var @Talhaugurluel @CirkinIstanbul @mhrpolat #ayasofya pic.twitter.com/ifdQFiIcoM— Ömer Faruk Yavaşçay (@ofyavascay) April 26, 2022
The latest incident of vandalism came out after the Turkish Association of Art Historians (STD) earlier in April announced that the 1,400-year-old Imperial Gate inside the Hagia Sophia had been damaged by unidentified assailants. The incident at the time drew severe reaction in the international arena, with the Greek Foreign Ministry condemning it as “distressing and disgusting vandalism.”