This step involving the Hagia Sophia has totally destroyed the deception that Turkey has preserved its multi-religious, multicultural and multi-identity features as a country. Since we have passed the expiry date of lies, what is next now? Is there another topic of victimization left?
Greek governor wants mosque restoration works on Lesbos to be stopped after Turkey’s Hagia Sophia move
A regional Greek governor has said that Greece cannot stay indifferent to Turkey's Hagia Sophia move and demanded that ongoing restoration works at the historical Valide Mosque on Lesbos island be stopped. The 17th-century Valide Mosque is being restored under a 1.2 million euro grant from the EU regional development fund for the Aegean islands.
Turkey’s 1934 conversion of Hagia Sophia into museum was ‘wrong,’ ‘mistake is being corrected,’ says Erdoğan
President Erdoğan has said that Turkey's conversion of iconic Hagia Sophia into a museum back in 1934 was a “wrong decision” and the government is now “correcting a mistake.” Erdoğan also said that Hagia Sophia’s cultural heritage will be preserved.
Greece has described Turkey's decision to convert Istanbul's iconic Hagia Sophia to a mosque as "unnecessary and petty" and said it is "considering its response at all levels." "With this backward action, Turkey is opting to sever links with western world and its values," Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on July 14.
Finance Minister Berat Albayrak's lot on the route of Kanal Istanbul, the president's artificial canal project, was opened up to commerce. Albayrak will be allowed to build commercial structures on up to 40 percent of his land.
In 2008, then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan vowed to “save Sulukule from its state of monstrosity” invoking the same word for monstrosity (ucube) he later used to describe the Statue of Humanity, a sculpture built in the eastern province of Kars to symbolize friendship between Turkey and Armenia. Like Sulukule, the statue was torn down.
Erdoğan pledged to Putin during a telephone conversation that everyone wishing to attend the iconic Hagia Sophia will be admitted there, and the Christian relics at the ancient structure will be preserved, the Kremlin said on July 13.
Swiss company SICPA reportedly holds the operating rights of Istanbul's Hagia Sophia as a museum for seven more years. , SICPA won a tender that was held in 2018 for operating some 54 museums and archaeological sites for nine years with a $3.9 billion bid and holds the right to run Hagia Sophia as a museum for seven more years, daily Dünya reported on July 13.
Turkey's metropolitan cities Istanbul, Ankara and central Anatolian Konya are leading in the number of COVID-19 patients who are intubated or who need intensive care.
Six members of Union of Turkish Bar Associations resign to protest its head’s ‘stance against lawyers’
Six members of the Union of Turkish Bar Associations have resigned to protest its head's stance against their colleagues. "It's clear that we can't continue our duties with the current union head when taking Metin Feyzioğlu's passivity and stance against our colleagues in the recent process into account," the lawyers who resigned said in a statement.
A forest fire broke out on one of Istanbul's Princes' Islands, Heybeliada, on July 12. An investigation was launched into the fire, which was extinguished with the help of the residents. "We extinguished this fire with minimum damage of around five hectares [12.3 acres]," Agriculture and Forestry Minister Bekir Pakdemirli said.
The mosaics and frescoes in Istanbul's Hagia Sophia will reportedly be covered up with laser lights, as Turkish authorities are making preparations for the opening of the museum-turned-mosque. Erdoğan's spokesperson İbrahim Kalın commented on the issue, saying that the religious iconography will be preserved, adding that they will remain "untouched" for the viewing of people of all faiths.
The interim secretary-general of the World Council of Churches, Ioan Sauca, has penned a letter to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to express his “grief and dismay” over Turkey's decision to change the status of Istanbul's landmark Hagia Sophia from a museum to a mosque. "I am obliged to convey to you the grief and dismay of the World Council of Churches – and of its 350 member churches in more than 110 countries, representing more than half a billion Christians around the world – at the step you have just taken," Sauca said.
Pope Francis said on July 12 he was hurt by Turkey's decision to make Istanbul's Hagia Sophia museum a mosque, the latest religious leader to condemn the move.
Diyanet head Ali Erbaş has urged the opening of of an Islamic school in Hagia Sophia following its conversion into a mosque on July 10. "I think the decision is very meaningful. May it host a lot of worshippers. Praying in it is not enough, there should be a madrasah [Islamic school] in it," Erbaş said on July 11 in the Black Sea province of Rize.