Hagia Sophia to Turn to Mosque During Muslim Ramadan

Source: Greek Reporter

June 6, 2016

The morning prayer from the Koran was read at Hagia Sophia
in Istanbul on the first day of Muslim Ramadan, Monday,
June 6, in the presence of Turkey’s general
secretary of religious affairs.

The former Byzantine church that now serves as a museum,
will turn into a mosque for the next 30 days and the Koran
will be read daily until July 5, when Ramadan ends.
Religious state channel TRT Diyanet will be broadcasting
daily at 2:00 pm from Hagia Sophia.

The fact that the former Christian Orthodox Church that
for the past 80 years has operated as a museum and now
turns into a mosque for one month has touched a sensitive
nerve with Christian Greeks and has been criticized
broadly.

However, no official complaint was voiced from the Greek
government. The lack of official reaction has prompted
criticism from conservative opposition party New
Democracy.

“The decision of Turkish authorities to schedule the
Koran reading in Hagia Sophia for the next month, has
virtually transformed it into a mosque for the first time
in 80 years. It is a provocative and incomprehensible act
and shows disrespect against Orthodox Christians across
the world and is not in line with Turkey’s European
course,” said in a joint statement the coordinator
of Foreign Affairs and Defence of New Democracy, Dora
Bakoyannis, and head of the party’s Foreign sector
Ioannis Kefalogiannis.

The conservative party MPs also call on the foreign
ministry to take appropriate action immediately and
criticize the ministry for its lukewarm, defeatist policy
of not displeasing anyone and being good to everyone.

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