13-07-2020 09:12:30

President Erdoğan: With its new status, Hagia Sophia, the shared heritage of humanity, will continue to embrace all

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan addressed the nation regarding Hagia Sophia Mosque’s re-opening for worship.

Pointing to the Presidential regulation that has enabled Hagia Sophia to be re-opened for worship, President Erdoğan said: “Hagia Sophia’s doors will be, as is the case with all our mosques, wide open to all, whether they be foreign or local, Muslim or non-Muslim.  With its new status, Hagia Sophia, the shared heritage of humanity, will continue to embrace all in a much more sincere and original way.”

“TO WHAT PURPOSE HAGIA SOPHIA WILL BE UTILIZED IS A MATTER OF TURKEY’S SOVEREIGN RIGHTS”

“I call on everyone to respect our country’s judicial and executive bodies’ decision on Hagia Sophia,” underscored President Erdoğan, adding: “Surely, we will welcome all kinds of views voiced on this matter in the international arena. However, to what purpose Hagia Sophia will be utilized is a matter of Turkey’s sovereign rights. Opening Hagia Sophia for worship following a new regulation is merely an exercise of our country’s sovereign rights. The right to convert Hagia Sophia into mosque in line with its foundation charter is the same as the flag of the Republic of Turkey, its capital, its adhan, its language, its borders and its 81 provinces. We will accept all attitudes and statements regarding this matter other than voicing views as a violation of our independence.”

“TURKEY’S DECISION IS RELATED TO ITS OWN DOMESTIC LAWS”

President Erdoğan went on to say: “Just as we as Turkey do not interfere in decisions on places of worship in other countries, we expect the same understanding about us protecting our historical and legal rights. Moreover, this right dates back exactly 567 years ago, not just 50 or 100 years. If today a faith-oriented discussion is to be held, the topic of that discussion should be not Hagia Sophia, but Islamophobia and xenophobia increasing with each passing day in all parts of the world. Turkey’s decision is solely related to its own domestic laws and historical rights.”

“THERE ARE CURRENTLY 435 CHURCHES AND SYNAGOGUES OPEN FOR WORSHIP IN OUR COUNTRY”

Underscoring that with the conquest, Istanbul has become a city in which Muslims, Christians and Jews live in peace and tranquility, President Erdoğan continued as follows: “Today, along with our mosques across our country, there are also thousands of historical places of worship of all faiths. Churches and synagogues operate anywhere where there is a community. There are currently 435 churches and synagogues open for worship in our country. This situation, which cannot be come across in other geographies, is the manifestation of our understanding which sees differences as a richness.”

“THE RESURRECTION OF HAGIA SOPHIA HERALDS THE LIBERATION OF THE AL-AQSA MOSQUE”

Also touching upon the request for the al-Aqsa Mosque to be turned into a museum, the President further stressed: “Today, Hagia Sophia is having another resurrection, many of which it has witnessed since its construction. The resurrection of Hagia Sophia heralds the liberation of the al-Aqsa Mosque.  The resurrection of Hagia Sophia is the footsteps of the will of Muslims across the world to come out of the interregnum. The resurrection of Hagia Sophia is the reignition of the fire of hope of not just Muslims, but ─ together with them ─ of all the oppressed, wronged, downtrodden and exploited.”