Turkey to cover Holy Icons in Hagia Sophia with curtains and ‘special technology’

July 15, 2020

Here is a new indication of the Turkish government’s lack of respect for Turkey’s rich Christian heritage. It is also a sign that the Turkish government’s conversion of Hagia Sophia to a mosque is likely to harm its status as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The magnificent holy icons within it will now be concealed with “special curtains,” as well as “special technology and lighting,” thereby diminishing the historic identity of the building as the world’s foremost Christian cathedral for nearly a millennium.

The Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, strongly urges UNESCO and all concerned governments worldwide to work with the Turkish government toward a reversal of this decision.

For previous coverage of the persecution of Christians in Turkey, see here.

“Turkey to cover Holy Icons in Hagia Sophia with ‘special technology,'” by Paul Antonopoulos, Greek City Times, July 11, 2020:

The declaration of Hagia Sophia becoming a mosque has caused a shock all over the world, and it appears the only ones in glee are Turks and their media outlets.

Yeni Şafak spoke of a “resurrection” of Hagia Sophia and Türkiye reported on its front page “The suffering of the Hagia Sophia mosque is over. The 86-year-old chains are broken.” Sabah newspaper published the headline “Nostalgia for Hagia Sophia is over.”

According to Hürriyet, Hagia Sophia will be open for prayer but also for tourists who want to visit it. They said that icons and mosaics will be covered with special technology and lighting.

Specifically, special curtains will be used during Islamic prayer, while carpets will be placed on the floor which will be illuminated to darken the space and not show paintings.

This means that visitors to Hagia Sophia will have to take off their shoes to enter the temple….