A brawl erupted between deputies of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) over Turkey’s sovereignty, as tensions mount amid the opening of Hagia Sophia to Muslim prayers on the peace treaty's anniversary on July 24. CHP deputy Özgür Özel slammed a refusal to allow the Atatürkist Thought Association (ADD) to visit Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s tomb.
Former deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan said that he never used religious terminology in his political career, majority of which he spent with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). Babacan also said that his recently-formed Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA) didn't identify with labels like "left, right, liberal, conservative."
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has recited Quran in Hagia Sophia, marking its opening as a mosque on July 24. An imam began the formal prayer service at 1.45 pm, after Erdoğan read out a Quranic recitation and the call to prayer rang out from the mosque's minarets.
Social distancing was completely forgotten around Istanbul's Hagia Sophia ahead of its opening as a mosque, prompting concerns on the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Health Minister Fahrettin Koca shared warnings on Twitter, urging people to follow precautions. "First comes precautions, then takbir," Koca said, referring to the Arabic term for the phrase God is great.
Turkey minted a special coin to mark the first mass Muslim prayers held in Istanbul's iconic Hagia Sophia on July 24. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan recently opened the ancient structure, formerly a museum, to worship after decades.
Thousands of people flocked to Istanbul's Hagia Sophia for the first Friday prayers at the site. On July 24, the interior echoed to the sound of Koranic recitations from clerics, sat on blue carpets freshly laid this week ahead of the prayers.
Many Muslims, American Muslims included, no longer see world affairs through the lens of traditional notions of dominance and conquest. Islamic history now lends itself to alternative interpretations.
Putin, Greek PM stress preserving Hagia Sophia as universal heritage in phone call requested by Athens
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis stressed preserving Istanbul's Hagia Sophia as universal heritage in a phone call requested by Athens. "[They] emphasized the unmatched cultural, historic and religious significance of that unique World Heritage Site and noted the importance of preserving it as universal heritage and a symbol of peace and cohesion," the Kremlin said.
The convention was introduced here, in Istanbul, back in 2011, and ratified in the parliament a year later. What changed in the last eight years that the AKP came to the point of withdrawing from the Convention? The answer lies in the drastic change in the political agenda, the growing oppression, and the undermining of basic human rights.
Istanbul's Hagia Sophia, which will officially open as a mosque on Friday, is being outfitted with thousands of square meters of turquoise carpeting, the fibers of which are designed to point in the direction of Mecca.
Ezgi Başaran writes: French political scientist Professor Olivier Roy, who, since the mid-‘90s, has argued that the Islamist project has failed, says Atatürk's secularism won in Turkey. While analyzing President Erdoğan's decision to reconvert Hagia Sophia to a mosque, Roy argues that Erdoğan could not Islamize minds, so he is trying to Islamize stones.
Prior to the Hagia Sophia controversy, Turkey was already a “hot potato” issue both for the EU Commission and Germany. Some serious brainstorming has already been going on regarding what to do with Turkey as far as some EU countries are concerned.
The ancient mosaics in Istanbul's Hagia Sophia will be covered up with curtains during Muslim prayer, but will remain available to visit at all other times, presidential spokesman İbrahim Kalın said on July 19. Meanwhile, the floors will be carpeted ahead of the July 24 opening.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has visited Istanbul's Hagia Sophia ahead of its opening as a mosque on July 24. Erdoğan was accompanied by Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu and Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet) head Ali Erbaş.
Dinçer Demirkent writes: Comparisons between July 15 and the Turkish War of Independence, attempts to define it a “new war of independence” or brand it as a symbol of the new regime have all failed. President Erdoğan's efforts to establish political hegemony and found new institutions had already expired by the time of the attempted coup.