Turks Mark Anniversary Of Muslim Conquest By Demanding Historic Church Be Turned Into Mosque…
Marking 563 years since the city was conquered by the Ottoman dynasty, thousands of protesters on Saturday held a special morning prayer in front of Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia Basilica, demanding that the building be reinstated as a mosque, as it was under the Ottoman empire.
The protesters, led by Mustafa Hasan, a Saudi imam, held up their mobile phones and chanted: “Break the chains! Open Hagia Sophia mosque!”
Ali Yegmur, chairman of the Youth of Anatolia movement, delivered a speech to the crowd.
“I ask Allah to allow Muslim prayer to be heard from the minarets of Hagia Sophia and to allow us to pray inside,” he said. “Hagia Sophia should be reinstated as a site of prayer and worship.”
“Leaving Hagia Sophia closed would send a message to the West that I have no right to practice my religion,” he added. “It would prompt 80 million living Turks and 50 million dead ones to cry in despair and destitution.”
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