Turkey’s Decision to Revert the Hagia Sophia into a Mosque a Significant, Scary Move

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Turkey’s recent decision to convert the UNESCO Heritage Site Hagia Sophia museum into a mosque is a huge deal.


But from what I’m reading from commenters in travel groups, many don’t understand why.


So let’s take a hot minute to understand the implications. I think it’s important to know, especially for anyone planning on traveling to Turkey or Greece.


When my family and I were in Greece, we often saw military planes fly over us. Greeks would sigh and complain that it was Turkey again, violating their airspace.



Monastery in Kala Nera, Greece


From an article: “Further, the number of violations of Greek national airspace by Turkish military aircraft reached 4,811 in 2019. According to Athens, this is the largest number since 1987. Ankara seems to be driving tensions to a peak and is dangerously flirting with a military incident in the Aegean.” (Source: Here)



On the eve of the decision to change the Hagia Sophia into a mosque, Turkey dispatched at least 17 warships from the Aksaz Naval Base in Physkos. (Source: Here)



This is another move escalating already tight tensions with Greece. Not all acts of war are made with weapons.



The Hagia Sophia was originally the largest and one of the most important Christian cathedrals of the Byzantine Empire.


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Later, it was turned into a Roman Catholic cathedral.



When the Ottomans took over Constantinople in 1453, they changed it into a mosque.



Modern-day Turks’ favorite leader, Ataturk, did a great deal for the country by steering the nation in a more secular direction. It was his decision to turn the Hagia Sophia into a museum, preserving its original Christian heritage.



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During our two visits to Turkey, my mom and I talked to many Turks about the politics of their country. Overwhelmingly, most people did not support the fanatic-leanings of the current leader, but passionately supported Ataturk’s legacy. Locals just wanted peace and liberty to work and look after their families, like normal people. They didn’t welcome Islamic extremism.



(At one point actually, Turkey applied to join the EU, but was denied.)



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The Hagia Sophia is a special historic site, particularly for Greek Orthodox Christians.




(Picture: Greek Orthodox church in Volos, Greece)



Greek government spokesman Stelios Petsas said in an interview: “We have warned for some time that this will create an unbridgeable gap between Turkey and the Christian world.” (Source: Here)



Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias (of Greece) stated that Turkey “has offended the global community, regardless of nationality, past and religious beliefs.” (Source: Here)



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The Blue Mosque, in walking distance to the Hagia Sophia, Turkey
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1 thought on “Turkey’s Decision to Revert the Hagia Sophia into a Mosque a Significant, Scary Move”

  1. Psalm 2
    1 Why do the nations conspire[a]
    and the peoples plot in vain?
    2 The kings of the earth rise up
    and the rulers band together
    against the Lord and against his anointed, saying,
    3 “Let us break their chains
    and throw off their shackles.”

    4 The One enthroned in heaven laughs;
    the Lord scoffs at them.
    5 He rebukes them in his anger
    and terrifies them in his wrath, saying,
    6 “I have installed my king
    on Zion, my holy mountain.” Psalm2 1-6

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