Duvar English

Turkish Education Ministry has urged its personnel to attend a symposium organized by the Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet) on Hagia Sophia upon the religious body’s request.

The ministry’s religious education branch sent a notice to all provincial and district directorates of education for its personnel to attend the symposium scheduled to be held on Sept. 30, daily Birgün reported on Sept. 15.

The symposium will be held in Istanbul.

Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan amid international criticism.

Diyanet head Ali Erbaş came under fire for delivering the Friday sermons at Hagia Sophia with a sword in hand, presenting an Ottoman tradition of conquest. He defended himself by saying that it’s a “widespread practice.”

While the move on the first Friday prayers on July 24 prompted surprise, repeated it a week later again at Hagia Sophia during Eid al-Adha prayers.