Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan will hold a Muslim prayer service at Hagia Sophia on Good Friday with Muslim religious leaders.
The church was declared a museum by the father of modern Turkey Kemal Ataturk in 1934.
Erdogan wants to remake it into a mosque.
Asia News reported:
The Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan is preparing to go to pray next Friday April 14 in Saint Sophia in Constantinople, the church declared a museum by the father of Republican Turkey Kemal Ataturk in 1934.
Erdogan will not be alone: He will be accompanied by representatives of his party AKP (Muslim extraction) and religious leaders in Istanbul. According to the Christian calendar next Friday is Good Friday and the event will take place just two days before the April 16 referendum strongly backed by Erdogan in Turkey to establish an absolutist Presidency of Neottoman and Islamic extraction.
Thus Erdogan, nicknamed the “new sultan” for his political extremism, will seek to channel Muslim faithful in favor of a Yes ( “Evet”) vote. According to the Muslim calendar the month to April (Nisan) is the month of the birth of Mohammed.
The news is carried in pro-government newspapers, presenting the latest book by Turk historian Mustafa Armagan – titled “The Saint Sophia intrigue” (Aya Sofia Entrikalari). In doing so they seek to create and prepare the climate for the prayer, as the will of the Turkish president. The book argues that the decree signed by Kemal Ataturk in 1934 which turned the Hagia Sophia from mosque into a museum, is not authentic. According to Armagan, the Kemal Ataturk signature on the decree is false. Therefore the act has no legal value and therefore Santa Sofia can in fact be used as a mosque, as was the case after the Turkish conquest of Constantinople in 1453.