Erdogan: Hagia Sophia will be open 24 hours a day
“Our president ordered us to have Hagia Sophia open 24 hours a day for prayer, starting today. Hagia Sophia will always be open 24 hours a day. We express our gratitude to our president”, the governor of Constantinople wrote, announcing Erdogan’s decision, who seems indifferent of the condemnation from the United States, Germany and other countries.
At the same time, France’s Le Figaro notes that Friday’s prayer in which Erdogan recited verses from the Koran put an end to secular Turkey as envisioned by Kemal Ataturk, adding that Erdogan’s message is that the Ottoman Empire will be the new model for modern Turkey.
The Greek President Ms. Sakellaropoulou addressed indirectly but clearly Erdogan yesterday by saying that those who think they will reduce the global radiation of the monument are in vain, while the Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis described Turkey as a “troublemaker”, noting that what happened in Istanbul “is not a manifestation of force, but proof of weakness”.
Continuing the propaganda show set up in Hagia Sophia by Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish Foreign Ministry called on Greece to “wake up from the dream of Byzantium, from which it has not woken up for 567 years”, calling Greece as “Europe’s spoiled kid” while on the occasion of the burning of the Turkish flag by protesters in Thessaloniki, it went so far as to say that “these racist heads have not learned a lesson from history and they should remember what happened in the Aegean to those who did not show respect to the Turkish flag”.
The response from the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs was immediate: “The international community of the 21st century observes stunned the delirium of religious and nationalist fanaticism of today’s Turkey. They have been condemned and are unworthy of an answer, while they expose internationally more and more those who utter them and incite them”.
The Turkish newspapers characterize last Friday as a historic day with the Muslim prayer for the first time after 86 years in Hagia Sophia, with the sole exception of Cumhuriyet, which on its front page writes of an “insult” to Kemal.
The reason for this title was the reference to the speech of the head of religious affairs Ali Erbas who said that he who had changed the use of Hagia Sophia from a mosque to a museum is cursed.
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