Even though the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople (Istanbul), originally a Christian Orthodox Cathedral, has been converted into a mosque, it seems that ultra-nationalist Turks have an obsession in wanting to convert anything with the name “Hagia Sophia”.
Turkish journalist Ibrahim Karagül, known for his outlandish rhetoric against Greece, tweeted: “AEK’s stadium was named Hagia Sophia, one day we will turn it into a mosque”.
Atina’nın futbol kulübü AEK,
stadın adını Ayasofya yapmış.
Gün gelir orayı da cami yaparız.
— İbrahim Karagül (@ibrahimkaragul) October 1, 2022
AEK Athens, is a club with its historic roots in Constantinople, as seen with its acronyms taken from Athletic Union of Constantinople. The sports club recently inaugurated its new stadium called by its commercial name OPAP Arena, but officially Hagia Sophia Stadium.
This fact did not seem to sit well with the Turkish journalist Ibrahim Karagül who tweeted: “AEK’s stadium was named Hagia Sophia, one day we will turn it into a mosque”.
His post caused a strong reaction from the Greek club’s supporters who were quick to flood him with responses ranging from some insults to condemning him as a far-right nationalist, while others posted photos of the Greek heroes of the 1821 Revolution against the Ottoman Empire.
However, many of his countrymen agreed with him. It is worth noting that Ibrahim Karagül is a Turkish journalist and former editor-in-chief of the newspaper Yeni Safak. During his tenure, he turned into a strong supporter of the Recep Tayyip Erdogan government.