Turkish Islamic leader calls for Muslim prayers in Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia

The Religious and Foundation Employees' Union (Diyanet Bir-Sen) called for the first Friday prayer after the coronavirus pandemic to be performed in Hagia Sophia. Friday is considered the Holy Day in Islam.

Hagia Sophia is the spiritual home for Orthodox Christians, in the same way the Vatican is for Catholics or Mecca and Medina is for Muslims.

The world famous cathedral was completed in 537AD and served as the seat of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople until 1453 when the Ottoman Turks captured Constantinople and turned it into a mosque. When the Muslims took over the cathedral, much of it was destroyed, including icons, mosaics, paintings, bells and the alter.

It was then turned into a museum in 1935.

"Hagia Sophia is the means to bring about the resurrection of the world. We must all show together - with the first prayer in Hagia Sophia - that Turkey is not the old Turkey," said Bir-Sen Chairman, Hasan Türüt.

However Türüt is shown to speak with delusions as he believes Turkey will emerge from the coronavirus pandemic stronger and in a better position to lead the Islamic world.

"The executives, including the President of the Republic, must consider these issues. Muslims are seeing what will take place in the new world order - then the first act in Turkey's new world order should be to reopen Hagia Sophia for worship. In our 2020 calendar, we pointed to this issue. Preparations should be made for the second conquest of Istanbul, and the first Friday prayer should be given to the Islamic world to show that the caliphate is still alive and that the Ummah [Muslim community] is living in the shadow of Ottoman justice and is not dead," he said.

According to official data, there are over 124,000 coronavirus cases in Turkey, resulting in over 3,300 deaths. However, the official data needs to be taken with caution as journalists and social media users who dispute the real number are arrested.

The impact of the coronavirus in Turkey goes beyond the human toll and has taken a devastating hit on the Turkish economy.

Analysts at TD Securities have estimated that Turkey may run out foreign currency reserves as early as July if the pressure on its currency keeps intensifying. This makes it especially critical as the Turkish lira has lost 14 percent of its value since January.

Somehow though for Türüt, with Turkey's economy being battered, huge political tensions between the different political factions, and its failure to invade Syria, Libya and Greece through various means, Turkey will become a leader of the Islamic world in the post-coronavirus world.


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