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ArchGuy1
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Hagia Sophia to be Converted Back to a Mosque

Sat Jul 11, 2020 12:40 am

This post warrants it's own thread because of the political nature involved with the events involving the Hagia Sophia. Turkish President Erdogan has issued a decree that the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul will be converted back to a mosque after a court ruling declared the building's conversion to a museum in the 1930's illegal. This comes despite international warnings not to convert the Hagia Sophia back to a mosque and the building is popular for both Christians and Muslims. When the monumental building was first built, it was used as a Byzantine church until the Ottoman invasion in 1453. Then the structure became a mosque and a symbol of Ottoman religious power until 1935 when it became a museum under Kemal Ataturk who was the founder of the modern Turkish Republic. UNESCO has threatened to withdraw the building's status as a World Heritage Site and the decision to convert the building back to a mosque is likely to cause tensions with the Eastern Orthodox Church. The Council of State also cancelled the 1934 decision that turned the Hagia Sophia into a museum. It is interesting to see how everything plays out.
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Dutchy
Posts: 11815
Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2007 1:25 am

Re: Hagia Sophia to be Converted Back to a Mosque

Sat Jul 11, 2020 7:04 am

Erdogan is a reli-nut, so this is a present for his ultra-orthodox followers. The city has a very interesting history: Istambul / Constantinople / Byzantion says it all. And is located at the border between Europe and Asia. Istambul itself is more a cosmopolitan city, much less ultra-orthodox Muslims.

Hagia Sophia has indeed an interesting history. The building itself is older than Islam, 537 versus Mohammed was born in 570.

Ataturk made a good decision to turn it into a museum, which symbolizes unity. Build as a cathedral, turned into a Mosque. Change of the times to turn it back into a Mosque.

On a side note, when I went there, I was very impressed by the building, truly a building that deserved to be preserved and it should not be subject to the whims of who happened to be the current leader of the country. That's why we have the [url=https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/]World Heritage List[/url[, "To be included on the World Heritage List, sites must be of outstanding universal value and meet at least one out of ten selection criteria."

The ten selection criteria:

1. to represent a masterpiece of human creative genius;
2. to exhibit an important interchange of human values, over a span of time or within a cultural area of the world, on developments in architecture or technology, monumental arts, town-planning or landscape design;
3. to bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living or which has disappeared;
4. to be an outstanding example of a type of building, architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates (a) significant stage(s) in human history;
5. to be an outstanding example of a traditional human settlement, land-use, or sea-use which is representative of a culture (or cultures), or human interaction with the environment especially when it has become vulnerable under the impact of irreversible change;
6. to be directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions, with ideas, or with beliefs, with artistic and literary works of outstanding universal significance. (The Committee considers that this criterion should preferably be used in conjunction with other criteria);
7. to contain superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance;
8. to be outstanding examples representing major stages of earth's history, including the record of life, significant on-going geological processes in the development of landforms, or significant geomorphic or physiographic features;
9. to be outstanding examples representing significant on-going ecological and biological processes in the evolution and development of terrestrial, freshwater, coastal and marine ecosystems and communities of plants and animals;
10. to contain the most important and significant natural habitats for in-situ conservation of biological diversity, including those containing threatened species of outstanding universal value from the point of view of science or conservation.

These sides should be protected because they are important for humankind, not just for a person, city, region or country.

The Hagia Sophia is in danger to be ejected from the list because of this move.
Many happy landings, greetings from The Netherlands!
 
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TK105
Posts: 601
Joined: Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:40 pm

Re: Hagia Sophia to be Converted Back to a Mosque

Sat Jul 11, 2020 10:58 am

No doubt this is a historic decision by the Danistay (Turkish Higher Administrative Court), over ruling the decree signed by Ataturk and other founding members of the Republic in 1935, who also founded the Danistay. Frustrated by the hypocrisy of the west, secular majority in Turkey did not stand a strong opposition (at least for the sake of Ataturk's signature) and opened the way silently for this ruling. Also majority of the law professors (from the secular side) approved the ruling to be right according to law as Aya Sofya Mosque was a heritage from Ottoman Sultan Mehmed 2 (conqueror of Istanbul) and no governmental decree is above an official heritage document, though they underlined the decision to be a political one at the end.

Obviously Aya Sofya is a monumental building and part of world heritage. Perhaps one day we can see it again as a museum but most probably this can only be possible together with other monumental buildings in Europe such as Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba, Fethiye Mosque in Athens, Alaca Imaret Mosque in Thessaloniki, etc.

By the way, I would like to correct and remind an historical fact: There is no place/country called Byzantine. We have only Roman Empire or East Roman Empire if you like. The name Byzantine was created artificially by western historians well after fall of Roman Empire. A simple wikipedia search will enlighten you on this matter. So stop using the useless Byzantine name. It was Roman Empire.
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frmrCapCadet
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Re: Hagia Sophia to be Converted Back to a Mosque

Sat Jul 11, 2020 1:25 pm

TK - the usage of "Roman Empire" became moot sometime while the western empire collapsed as in uh, 'where is Rome?' I might more acerbically note that Christianity became Christendom over the same period. Many of us might be called definitely atheists with regards to Christendom. Equally I have some twinges over protecting Muslim rights in the US (and I do) given the treatment of Christians in most of the Muslim world. I do realize the complexity of much of what has happened.
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GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Hagia Sophia to be Converted Back to a Mosque

Sat Jul 11, 2020 2:55 pm

frmrCapCadet wrote:
TK - the usage of "Roman Empire" became moot sometime while the western empire collapsed as in uh, 'where is Rome?' I might more acerbically note that Christianity became Christendom over the same period. Many of us might be called definitely atheists with regards to Christendom. Equally I have some twinges over protecting Muslim rights in the US (and I do) given the treatment of Christians in most of the Muslim world. I do realize the complexity of much of what has happened.


Read up on Roman emperor Constantine the Great who established Byzantium as a Christian city named after himself. It was Christian and continued Roman traditions for a thousand years.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constantine_the_Great
 
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TK105
Posts: 601
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Re: Hagia Sophia to be Converted Back to a Mosque

Sat Jul 11, 2020 4:56 pm

The first use of the term "Byzantine" to label the later years of the Roman Empire was in 1557, when the German historian Hieronymus Wolf published his work Corpus Historiæ Byzantinæ, a collection of historical sources. The term comes from "Byzantium", the name of the city to which Constantine moved his capital, leaving Rome, and rebuilt under the new name of Constantinople. The older name of the city would rarely be used from this point onward except in historical or poetic contexts. The publication in 1648 of the Byzantine du Louvre (Corpus Scriptorum Historiae Byzantinae), and in 1680 of Du Cange's Historia Byzantina further popularised the use of "Byzantine" among French authors, such as Montesquieu.[9] However, it was not until the mid-19th century that the term came into general use in the Western world.[10]

The Byzantine Empire was known to its inhabitants as the "Roman Empire", the "Empire of the Romans".

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Byzantine_Empire
The future is in the skies.
 
ArchGuy1
Topic Author
Posts: 1506
Joined: Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:35 pm

Re: Hagia Sophia to be Converted Back to a Mosque

Sat Jul 11, 2020 5:05 pm

TK105 wrote:
No doubt this is a historic decision by the Danistay (Turkish Higher Administrative Court), over ruling the decree signed by Ataturk and other founding members of the Republic in 1935, who also founded the Danistay. Frustrated by the hypocrisy of the west, secular majority in Turkey did not stand a strong opposition (at least for the sake of Ataturk's signature) and opened the way silently for this ruling. Also majority of the law professors (from the secular side) approved the ruling to be right according to law as Aya Sofya Mosque was a heritage from Ottoman Sultan Mehmed 2 (conqueror of Istanbul) and no governmental decree is above an official heritage document, though they underlined the decision to be a political one at the end.

Obviously Aya Sofya is a monumental building and part of world heritage. Perhaps one day we can see it again as a museum but most probably this can only be possible together with other monumental buildings in Europe such as Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba, Fethiye Mosque in Athens, Alaca Imaret Mosque in Thessaloniki, etc.

By the way, I would like to correct and remind an historical fact: There is no place/country called Byzantine. We have only Roman Empire or East Roman Empire if you like. The name Byzantine was created artificially by western historians well after fall of Roman Empire. A simple wikipedia search will enlighten you on this matter. So stop using the useless Byzantine name. It was Roman Empire.

Will women be required to wear headscarves inside the Hagia Sophia like any other mosque in Turkey?
 
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Aesma
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Re: Hagia Sophia to be Converted Back to a Mosque

Sat Jul 11, 2020 5:44 pm

I'm not convinced that Erdogan is that religious, or religious at all, he just figured it was a good way to get, and keep, power, like many other right-wing politicians everywhere.
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TK105
Posts: 601
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Re: Hagia Sophia to be Converted Back to a Mosque

Sat Jul 11, 2020 6:17 pm

ArchGuy1 wrote:
Will women be required to wear headscarves inside the Hagia Sophia like any other mosque in Turkey?

We have to wait and see the answer on 24th of July, when Aya Sofya reopens its doors as a mosque. What I hear on the news is that Erdogan Government is willing to make a soft transition by incorparating advanced lighting technology to mask Christian symbols during praying times and enable also these symbols to be visiable to visitors during other times (instead of covering them permenatly), meaning Aya Sofia will be kept as a semi museum. But most probably women will be asked to cover their hair as the place is now a mosque officially.
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GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 6076
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: Hagia Sophia to be Converted Back to a Mosque

Sat Jul 11, 2020 6:26 pm

Aesma wrote:
I'm not convinced that Erdogan is that religious, or religious at all, he just figured it was a good way to get, and keep, power, like many other right-wing politicians everywhere.


This, but I’d say “any politician, regardless of political stripe, seeking power”. Politicians are all alike and all politics are local.
 
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Dutchy
Posts: 11815
Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2007 1:25 am

Re: Hagia Sophia to be Converted Back to a Mosque

Sat Jul 11, 2020 6:40 pm

Aesma wrote:
I'm not convinced that Erdogan is that religious, or religious at all, he just figured it was a good way to get, and keep, power, like many other right-wing politicians everywhere.


Perhaps, he is a populist after all.
Many happy landings, greetings from The Netherlands!
 
ArchGuy1
Topic Author
Posts: 1506
Joined: Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:35 pm

Re: Hagia Sophia to be Converted Back to a Mosque

Sun Jul 12, 2020 4:37 pm

Dutchy wrote:
Erdogan is a reli-nut, so this is a present for his ultra-orthodox followers. The city has a very interesting history: Istambul / Constantinople / Byzantion says it all. And is located at the border between Europe and Asia. Istambul itself is more a cosmopolitan city, much less ultra-orthodox Muslims.

Hagia Sophia has indeed an interesting history. The building itself is older than Islam, 537 versus Mohammed was born in 570.

Ataturk made a good decision to turn it into a museum, which symbolizes unity. Build as a cathedral, turned into a Mosque. Change of the times to turn it back into a Mosque.

On a side note, when I went there, I was very impressed by the building, truly a building that deserved to be preserved and it should not be subject to the whims of who happened to be the current leader of the country. That's why we have the [url=https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/]World Heritage List[/url[, "To be included on the World Heritage List, sites must be of outstanding universal value and meet at least one out of ten selection criteria."

The ten selection criteria:

1. to represent a masterpiece of human creative genius;
2. to exhibit an important interchange of human values, over a span of time or within a cultural area of the world, on developments in architecture or technology, monumental arts, town-planning or landscape design;
3. to bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living or which has disappeared;
4. to be an outstanding example of a type of building, architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates (a) significant stage(s) in human history;
5. to be an outstanding example of a traditional human settlement, land-use, or sea-use which is representative of a culture (or cultures), or human interaction with the environment especially when it has become vulnerable under the impact of irreversible change;
6. to be directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions, with ideas, or with beliefs, with artistic and literary works of outstanding universal significance. (The Committee considers that this criterion should preferably be used in conjunction with other criteria);
7. to contain superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance;
8. to be outstanding examples representing major stages of earth's history, including the record of life, significant on-going geological processes in the development of landforms, or significant geomorphic or physiographic features;
9. to be outstanding examples representing significant on-going ecological and biological processes in the evolution and development of terrestrial, freshwater, coastal and marine ecosystems and communities of plants and animals;
10. to contain the most important and significant natural habitats for in-situ conservation of biological diversity, including those containing threatened species of outstanding universal value from the point of view of science or conservation.

These sides should be protected because they are important for humankind, not just for a person, city, region or country.

The Hagia Sophia is in danger to be ejected from the list because of this move.

A museum I feel would be a neutral purpose for an iconic building that has served as both a church and a mosque, as the building is sacred for both Christians and Muslims.

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