Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said in a statement that Islamic prayers and recitals will be held at Hagia Sophia to commemorate the Fall of Constantinople.
Greek City Times Erdoğan continually uses the threat of turning the Christian Orthodox Cathedral, now a museum, into a mosque to appease Turkish Islamic extremists, which would be a shout of Islamic triumphalism.
Hagia Sophia (Greek for “Holy Wisdom”) was built in the 6th century CE (532–537) under the direction of the Byzantine emperor Justinian I in Constantinople and remained the world’s largest cathedral for nearly 1,000 years until the Ottoman Turks invaded the city and looted it.
In 1930s, Turkey changed the city’s name to “Istanbul” and converted the mosque into a museum – another violation of the historic structure that was built as and meant to be a cathedral.
With the collapse of the city, Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II allowed his soldiers three days to loot the city that saw thousands of Christian women raped, widespread murder, and 30,000 civilians enslaved. According to the Venetian surgeon Nicolò Barbaro, “all through the day the Turks made a great slaughter of Christians through the city.”