Right Now Times : Political and religious reactions followed the decision of the Turkish judiciary to return the Hagia Sophia mosque again and open it to worshipers after decades of turning it into a cultural museum.
In the last hours, various comments were issued by Jerusalem, the Vatican, Moscow, Berlin and Luxembourg regarding the decision taken by the Supreme Administrative Court in Turkey last Friday.
Right Now Times : The Russian Foreign Ministry considered today, Monday, that the conversion of the former Hagia Sophia Cathedral in Istanbul is a mosque “an internal affair” in moderate statements, after criticism of the Russian Orthodox Church for the decision.
Right Now Times : “We consider that the matter is about an internal Turkish, and we and others should not interfere,” Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Farshinin said, according to the RIA Novosti news agency.
However, he added, “But we cannot fail to draw attention to the importance of this landmark in terms of the culture and civilization of the world.”
Congratulations from Al-Aqsa
Right Now Times : In occupied Jerusalem, the preacher of Al-Aqsa Mosque Sheikh Ikrima Sabri congratulated Turkey on “returning the museum of the Hagia Sophia Mosque to its origin as a mosque for prayer.”
Right Now Times : Sheikh Sabri said in an interview recorded today, “It is a message of love and support that we send from the rehab of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, from Jerusalem and the shrines of Jerusalem, from the Holy Land of Palestine, to His Excellency President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, may God protect him, for what he has done to restore the right to the quorum, by opening Hagia Sophia is a mosque, in which its call to God is greater.
Right Now Times : It is reported that Hagia Sophia was a famous Christian cathedral before the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople (present-day Istanbul) in 1453, and Turkish documents say that the Ottoman Sultan bought it and converted it into a mosque.Advertising
More than four centuries after its transformation into a mosque, the government of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk declared it a cultural museum on November 24, 1934.
Right Now Times : Last Friday, the Turkish Supreme Administrative Court overturned this decision, and upheld the return of the Hagia Sophia mosque.
After the decision was issued, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced opening the Hagia Sophia to Muslims for prayers on July 24.
Right Now Times : Jan Luxembourg Asselborn foreign minister condemned the decision to return the Hagia Sophia to a mosque. Today, he said, it is a setback in relations with the European Union and Turkey’s standing in the world in general. “It is a blow against the Alliance of Civilizations.”
The Alliance of Civilizations was announced in 2005, after an initiative by Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, and Erdogan (then Turkish Prime Minister) to promote dialogue between cultures and religions, with the aim of bringing the East and West closer.
Right Now Times : “With this indication, Turkey has erased this development,” Asselborn said ahead of a meeting of European Union foreign ministers.
The Vatican grief
Right Now Times : Yesterday, Pope Francesco added his voice to critics of the decision to return the Hagia Sophia to a mosque, expressing his “deep grief”.
“My thoughts go to Istanbul, I think of Hagia Sophia. I am very sad,” the Pope said.
Right Now Times : A German government spokesman expressed his regret over the Turkish court’s decision, adding that his country would closely follow the implementation of the decision on this “masterpiece”.
Right Now Times : A Foreign Ministry spokesman said that it was necessary to consult with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) about changing the status of a site inscribed on the World Cultural Heritage List, and that this did not happen.
The two German speakers were making statements to a regular government news conference today.
Right Now Times : Earlier, the United States, Greece and Western Churches condemned the Turkish decision, but all these criticisms did not change Erdogan’s position.
The Turkish president commented on these condemnations, saying, “Those who do not stir a dwelling in their countries about anti-Islam criticize Turkey’s desire to use its sovereign rights.”
Right Now Times : “We made this decision not based on what others will say, but in the light of our rights as we did in Syria, Libya and any other country,” he added.
Today, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşo أوlu said that Ankara would inform UNESCO of the steps being taken regarding the Hagia Sophia.