The Hagia Sophia Mosque has been a 500 years old symbol of conquest by our ancestor, Sultan Muhammad Al-Fatih and was converted into a museum in 1934, along with the implementation of rampant secularization that detached Islam from social life, that even the 1,000 years old Quran alphabets was changed under the guise of “simplifying” the language.
Currently we are hearing dissenting noises that could not accept the transformation of the sanctuary into its prior functions in accordance to law and legal conduct. Instead, they have been questioning the motives of why the building was used as a place of worship during the early times.
The conquest of Hagia Sophia was foretold in hadith for centuries and bridged the end of an era with the start of another era.
Hagia Sophia is the name of the red apple of the Islamic army that went on a voyage from Manzikert to spread God’s words..
Hagia Sophia and Istanbul as a whole, both are of great honor and sacred heritage, not only for us but for the entire Islamic Ummah.
The recommencement of Hagia Sophia as a place of worship is not due to the need for a new mosque or another political game, as claimed by some Byzantine sympathizers. We owe it to Sultan Muhammad Al-Fatih to be true to the fruits of his conquest and to implement it the true testament of our loyalty.
Just as the previously enforced headscarf ban, the initial decision to convert Hagia Sophia into a museum was forcefully and unlawfully imposed unto the nation, as it also strucked the hearts of the Islamic world.
Hagia Sophia is more than just a mosque. Hagia Sophia is a longing love for us.
The building which was taken over from Byzantines is a monumental complex and a cultural center that is complemented by many libraries, madrasahs, courtyards and minarets built surrounding it for 500 years.
Our ancestors the Ottoman Empire, had entrusted us the young Republic of Turkey with Hagia Sophia as a majestic sign which they had ruled the world for centuries.
In an era where we witnessed many Ottoman heritages, be it mosques, cultural or artistic legacies had been destroyed throughout Andalusia, Balkans and almost every historically held Ottoman lands, there is no point to be an apologist anymore.
It it unfortunate to have Byzantine sympathizers saying that “The persecution started in 1453”, when it is clear as day that there were times when their own grandfathers said “We are much rather be seen wearing an Ottoman turban instead of having a cardinal cone on our heads!”. They should know that we will no longer listen to their ironic lecture on cultural heritage!
Until now, there are still forces in power that try their best to undermine Islam from these lands. They tempt betrayal, as well as empower internal and external terrorist network, without ever seeing the harms of their actions.
Despite the intolerance of the Western world to Islam today, our non-Muslim citizens can practice their religion freely across this country, and Istanbul itself consist of hundreds of churches for the Christians.
Fatih Sultan Mehmed Han took Hagia Sophia as a sword right after the conquest and devoted this holy place as a mosque.
It is completely preposterous for any state government that was founded from an empire to disinherit and disrespect the will of its core founders. Wouldn’t the very act of distorting the achievement of its founders is an act of disloyalty?
The great poet Necip Fazil had captured the suffering of his generation as, “You are a stranger in your own home, a pariah in your own land!”, in which he later ended with resonating exclamation, “You had crawled for too long on your face; (Rise) on your feet, Sakarya!”
Unlawful policies that have been enacted for almost a century must be ended, as Hagia Sophia need to be restored as a mosque and its surrounding buildings should be reopen according to its former designed functions.
The Union of NGOs of the Islamic World, with 354 NGO members across 66 countries declares our undivided support to every efforts to regain Hagia Sophia, especially to the President of Republic of Turkey whom we have been working together for years, we stand with you and say, “Chains will be broken, Hagia Sophia will be opened!”
This statement is respectfully announced to the public.