“The Orthodox prelate said that if the museum is converted to any religious use, it should become a Christian church, since it was built for that purpose.” Indeed. The Turks could show their good will by making it into a church again, as it was for a thousand years before the Ottoman jihadists turned it into a mosque when they conquered Constantinople. Instead, part of Turkey’s rapid re-Islamization is the possibility that it will become a mosque again.
Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople has staked out his opposition to convert the Hagia Sophia into a mosque.
Once the patriarchal basilica of Constantinople, the Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque when Muslims conquered the city. In 1935, Turkey”s government made the building a museum, as part of the secularizing campaign under the leadership of Kemal Ataturk. But today Turkey”s government, while professing the same secular principles, has supported a campaign to build new mosques and convert some historic buildings into mosques. A proposal to make the Hagia Sophia a mosque is now under consideration in the Turkish parliament. ”We want Santa Sofia to remain a museum,” said Patriarch Bartholomew. The Orthodox prelate said that if the museum is converted to any religious use, it should become a Christian church, since it was built for that purpose.