» 03/06/2014, 00.00
NAT da Polis
Ecumenical Patriarch says no to Hagia Sophia as a mosque, yes to Christian worship
Speaking to a group of visiting scholars at the Phanar, Bartholomew I defends the building's Christian roots, pledging opposition by all Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant Churches.
Female suicide bomber blows herself up in a police station near the Blue Mosque
One agent was killed and another was seriously injured. It is the second attack carried out in the city in roughly a week. Regarding the bomber, who died in the explosion, nothing is yet known, and there are no claims, but the finger is being pointed at a group from the extreme left.
Bartholomew I: Do not transform Hagia Sophia in Trabzon into a mosque
The Ecumenical Patriarch is opposed to the proposal of the Vice-President Bulent Arinc because there is "no need" for worship. Bartholomew is also supported by the head of the Muslim community, who points out the many mosques, which remain largely empty. Regarding minorities, the government is Turkish makes "one step forward, one step back." Anti-conformist sentiments on the up.
Motion to transform Hagia Sophia into a mosque: Conquest of Constantinople a national holiday and the rise of Erdogan
The ruling AKP party’s infamous project to regain Turkish Muslims votes and presidency for Erdogan. The Ecumenical Patriarchate refuses to "barter" for opening of Halki Theological School. West only concerned with gas pipelines; in Turkey no one dares to voice any criticism.
Erdogan's mad idea for president: turning Hagia Sophia into a mosque
Made many times but never kept, the promise to reopen the Halki Theological School is another of the prime minister's mad ideas. So far, his ambitions have been hampered by his own authoritarian streak, allegations of corruption made against him, and the Gezi Park protest movement. Now Erdogan's aim is to get at least 40 per cent of the vote in next month's elections.
Persistent rumours suggest Hagia Sophia will be turned into a mosque
Two other churches in Nicaea and Trebizond that served as museums have already been converted into mosques. With Hagia Sophia in Constantinople as the symbol of Ottoman conquest, Erdogan's neo-Ottoman plans need such a symbol to cover up Turkey's economic and social crises. For Bartholomew I, Hagia Sophia could only reopen to worship as a Christian church.
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