new Delhi: Symbols are very important in religion and politics. Symbols have more effect than words. And the same thing is happening in Turkey. First converted to a mosque after being a church and then a museum for 86 years, in Turkey’s famous Hagia Sophia, after 1934, the first prayers were recited today. The order to convert this museum into a mosque was given by Turkish President Rechep Tayyip Ardoan on 10 July this year. Later, the Supreme Court of Turkey also approved it. Today Turkey’s President, Haya arrived in Sofia to offer Namaz. During this, around one thousand people followed the social distancing and offered Namaz.
Symbol of secularism
The approximately fifteen hundred year old Haya Sofia Mosque located in Istanbul was built as a church in the sixth century. However, when the Ottoman Empire arrived in Europe in the fourteenth century, it was converted into a mosque. After the end of the Ottoman Empire in 1934, the founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kamal Ata Turk, made it a museum and Haya Sophia became a symbol of Turkey’s secularism.
Haya Sophia has been a symbol of Islam and the collective faith of Christians in Turkey. The Haya Sophia Museum was a center of cultural and social faith for followers of all faiths. In which anyone could enter. But now after 86 years, once again Haya Sophia has been converted into a mosque. And a large part of the building has been reserved only for the Muslim community. Several artifacts and insignia belonging to Christianity have been removed or covered in the building. For example, before the Namaz held today, the pictures of Virgin Mary and Baby Jesus present in Haya Sophia were veiled because they are made in the direction of Mecca and in this direction Muslims from all over the world read Namaz.
Turkey is a Muslim majority country, where about 98 percent of the people believe in Islam. And Turkey is counted among the few Muslim countries which are considered to be the most secular. Therefore, Turkish President Ardoआनan is also being criticized for the decision to convert Haya Sofia into a mosque.
On this, the US has said that they are disappointed with the decision of the Turkish government to change the status of Haya Sofia. UNESCO has said that Turkey should have informed it before any changes in it. Because Haya Sophia is also included in U Nesco’s World Heritage.
The Ministry of Culture of Greece has called it an openly provocative decision. According to the Orthodox Church of Russia, this decision of Turkey will increase the division which is a shame.
Protests are also taking place in Turkey
Opposition to President Ardoan’s decision to convert Haya Sofia into a mosque is also taking place in Turkey itself. A large part of Turkey’s liberal society is describing this move of Ardoआनan as appeasing the majority. They allege that due to the declining economy of Turkey, Ardoan’s popularity is decreasing, so they are pushing the Muslim majority of the country towards bigotry.
Turkey’s first Nobel Prize-awarded author Orhan Pamuk has said that Turkey has been the only country in the world that has a majority population. But Turkey has always been a secular country. Haya Sophia is a symbol of this pride. But this pride is being taken away now.
Despite these criticisms, Turkish President Ardoआनan is not at all restless, but he will be happy because he had promised in the last elections that he will convert Haya Sofia into a mosque and he did it.
Haya sofia’s cat
Like Haya Sophia, a cat is a topic of discussion all over the world these days. This cat has lived in Haya Sofia for the last 16 years. This cat with gray eyes was born in the year 2004 in the Haya Sofia campus, named Glee. This cat also becomes the center of attraction for the tourists visiting Haya, whoever comes to visit here, definitely takes a photo with this cat. Fans of this cat include former US President Barack Obama who went to Hia Sophia in 2009, when he met this cat there too. And he also gave a pat on her back with love.
Account on instagram
This cat also has an account on Instagram. A tourist guide started Glee’s Instagram account four years ago. Whose profile is written, My land is Hia Sophia. I am a celebrity british cat. People call me Unity of Love. And you can tag my beautiful pictures.
This celebrity cat of Haya Sophia has over 52 thousand followers on Instagram who tag and post their pictures taken with this cat. Apart from this, people also share their experiences about cats. And also post videos made with it.
After turning Haya Sophia into a mosque, people were also fearing that this cat should be removed from there. But the Turkish government has said that this cat will remain in Haya Sofia and will continue to be taken care of as before.
By the way, in India people generally consider cats as inauspicious creatures. But in Turkey this belief is completely opposite. There the cat is considered to be a sign of fate. Cats are reared in homes there. People feed and care for the destitute cats. Scientific research also shows that cats understand the feelings of humans. They realize when their master’s mood is good and when it is bad.