Sew La Ti Embroidery + [Turkey]

Near East: Protestors demand Hagia Sophia be turned into mosque
Hundreds of Turks demanded that the historic Byzantine Greek cathedral of Hagia Sophia be converted into a mosque during a rally in Istanbul on May 24.

Protestors demand Hagia Sophia be turned into mosque
People gathered outside Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia, in the historical Sultanahmet district, with some carrying signs that read: “Hagia Sophia needs to be reopened as a mosque,” and “Let our lives be sacrificed for Islam.”

The protest was led by many Turkish nongovernmental organizations, including the Humanitarian Relief Foundation (İHH).

Designed as a Christian basilica in the sixth century by Anthemios of Tralles and Isidorus of Miletus, Hagia Sophia is now a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Hagia Sophia remained a center of Orthodox Christianity until 1453, when the city was conquered by Ottoman Turks under Sultan Mehmed II, known as the Conqueror of Istanbul. After 916 years of service as a church, he ordered Hagia Sophia to become a “victory mosque,” symbolizing the Muslim conquest. The mosaics of the church were covered with plaster and were successfully restored in the 20th century.

Hagia Sophia was used as a mosque for 482 years. Following the Ottoman Empire’s collapse, it was converted into a museum by republican officials in 1935.

Source: Hurriyet Daily News [May 25, 2015]