The President of Turkey, President Erdogan has confirmed that the Hagia Sophia Museum open to all visitors from all around the world will now be called a Mosque. No longer will visitors visit this place as a Museum but will visit it as a Mosque.
If you’ve ever been to Istanbul or are planning to go, Hagia Sophia usually gets pushed to the top of the list of places to visit. Not only is it one of the oldest religious buildings in the world (around 1500 years old), but it is also a place that served as a Church for the Christians, Synagogue for the Jews and a Mosque for the Muslims.
We visited this place in March 2016 and were fascinated by its immense size, detailed interior design and its relevance in this day and age despite it being an ancient building. It is truly a masterpiece of construction and design as well as preservation. Whenever a group of people took the building into their hands, they took it upon themselves to ensure that the sanctity of the building survived and that it was conserved properly over time.
With many other buildings like this, they usually end up abandoned or being converted into a museum for the public.
The Ottomans led their conquest through Istanbul around 1453 eventually conquering the place and converting Hagia Sophia into a Mosque. It was a mosque for almost 500 years until 1935 when the father of modern founded Turkey – Mustafa Kemal Atatürk – converted it into a Museum.
Today, President Erdogan has stood up to announce, that from now on, visitors will no longer be visiting Hagia Sophia as a Museum but as a Mosque. The plans of this will be discussed after the Municipal Elections in Turkey on 31st of March.