Turkey Presses Conversion of Hagia Sofia After Pope References Genocide

Turkey Presses Conversion of Hagia Sofia After Pope References Genocide

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Turkish officials continue to deny or play down the facts about the Armenian Genocide of 1915. At a recent Mass in the Armenian Catholic rite at St. Peter’s Basilica, Pope Francis used the word “genocide” to describe the mass killing of Ottoman Armenians by the Turks. Turkey is responding by stating it will speed up the conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque because of the Pope’s statement.

The Hurriyet Daily News has the story.

Pope’s remarks ‘to accelerate Hagia Sophia’s conversion into mosque’

(ANKARA) Pope Francis’ labeling of the mass killings of the Ottoman Armenians as “the first genocide of the 20th century” will only accelerate the reopening of Hagia Sophia to Muslim worship, the top Islamic official in Ankara has suggested.

“Frankly, I believe that the pope’s remarks will only accelerate the process for Hagia Sophia to be re-opened for [Muslim] worship,” Professor Mefail Hızlı, the mufti of Ankara, said in a written statement released late April 15.

According to Hızlı, the pope’s statement “has reflected a modern color of the crusader wars launched in these lands for centuries.” These lands have long been the “standard bearer” of the Muslim world, meaning many enemies, both from inside and outside of the country, have been launching attacks with different methods.

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Orthodox Christian Network brings you news of events and people important to the life of the Orthodox Church around the world. OCN highlights media organizations that track these important stories.