The damage to these ancient marbles indicates an indifference to the condition of this magnificent structure that is disturbing.
Hagia Sophia was built as an Orthodox Christian cathedral in the year 537, and for nearly a millennium was the world’s foremost monument of Christian architecture. In 1453, after the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople, it was converted to a mosque. Then the secular Turkish government in 1935 made it a museum, a living symbol of religious tolerance and pluralism, and a vivid reminder of the greatness of the Byzantine Empire. The Turkish government’s decision to convert Hagia Sophia to a mosque again in 2020 was a deeply ill-advised act of memoricide that ignores Turkey’s rich Christian history and further threatens the religious freedom of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the remaining Christians of that land. It was undertaken in defiance of the United States, Russia, France, Greece and many others.
The full statement of the Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, on the conversion of Hagia Sophia is here.
For previous ChristianPersecution.com coverage of the persecution of Christians in Turkey, see here.
“New vandalism in Hagia Sophia – The marbles on the floor were broken,” Orthodox Times, June 28, 2022:
New images of damage to Hagia Sophia in Istanbul have come to the light and created a stir.
This time the use of a cleaning machine, used inside the monument, resulted in the breaking of marbles on the floor.
With the title: “Marbles were broken in Hagia Sophia” the opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet refers to the: “Endless martyrdom of Hagia Sophia” due to the new damage.
“The destruction of Hagia Sophia, which has been transformed from a museum to a mosque, continues. Tour guide Ozlem Kabasakal said the historic marbles were broken in many places by the heavy machinery used to clean the marbles,” the newspaper noted.
The X-ray machines at the entrance of the monument, which have not been working since it was converted into a mosque, were switched on two weeks ago. Those in charge continue to warn women who enter without a headscarf, as well as those who attempt to enter in inappropriate clothing. However, there appears to be no provision for essential protection….
The Turkish tour guide claims according to Cumhuriyet that: “When Hagia Sophia was a museum, visits were carried out with great respect. These days its interior looks like a funfair”.