The Turkish Prime Minister pulls the rope with the theme of the church of Hagia Sophia on dangerous levels and plans to convert the cradle of Orthodoxy into a mosque - He schedules a religious ceremony on Friday 30th of May - Intense reaction of the Ecumenical Patriarch - Greek MFA downgrades the issue.
According to information from the environment of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turks plan to transform the church into a mosque before the elections of August, in order the conservative Muslims and the nationalists would rally around Erdogan. In this plan is also projected the re-operation of the Theological School of Halki in order to overcome the oppositions from abroad.
As it is heard, the plan provides to re-open Hagia Sophia as a mosque Friday May 30, 2014 one day after the anniversary of the victory of Mehmet the Conqueror, who shifted the cradle of Orthodoxy into a mosque. In this religious ceremony is expected to attend Erdogan himself as a showdown.
As "the Kathimerini" writes, the Greek Foreign Ministry is trying to downplay the issue considering that this whole debate is unrealistic and that Erdogan will not dare to proceed with such an action fearing the strong reactions of the Christian world.
On the other hand, the Ecumenical Patriarchate watching things very closely, believes that the case is very serious since the events in Gezi, the conflict with Fatoulach Gulen, the killings of protesters and the corruption cases that have come to light, have damage the profile of Erdogan who seeks such an issue of interest to nationalist in order his political restoration.
In the congregation of the Primates of the Orthodox Churches which ended on Sunday in Istanbul, resonant was the intervention of the Ecumenical Patriarch, who said that if the Hagia Sophia, which operating since 1935 as a museum, is going to be converted back to a place of worship then should serving as a church because for this reason it was built.
Decision of the European Parliament for the Hagia Sophia in Trabzon
Almost simultaneously with the dirty games Erdogan, comes another case to justify the Pontic Greeks for another church, the church of Saint Sophia in Trabzon. Just yesterday was voted on in the plenary of the European Parliament the amendment tabled by the head of "Greeks European Citizens" political party Mr. G. Hatzimarkakis, in which the Supreme Court Yargitay in Turkey invited to revoke its decision to operate the historic church of Hagia Sophia in Trabzon , as a mosque. Furthermore, the European Parliament decided to push for the immediate reopening of Hagia Sophia as a museum.
The amendment was adopted as part of the progress report of the European Parliament on Turkey. It is the reference to Article 24, which relates to the field of freedom of thought, conscience and religion in Turkey.
"It's probably the first time ever, which the European Parliament approved an amendment, submitted at the last minute, in an important report. I thank colleagues who fully understood the importance of the request, despite opposition by the rapporteur of the report. It was really a difficult to obtain but very important decision that meets the expectations and demand of Pontian Hellenism "said Hatzimarkakis .
It is notable, that the Greek Christian church of Hagia Sophia Trabzon had been initially constructed during the 5th century. The present church was constructed on the 13th century, as a desire of a great ruler of the Empire of Trebizond, the Emperor Manuel I Grand Komnenos .The interior is full of excellent frescoes, mosaic floors and unique embossed decoration, which are brilliant samples of civilization during centuries. A great sample of high intellectual edge and civilization is the incorporation in the facades of elements of the Eastern civilizations as Georgian, Armenian and Seljuks.