Just a day after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan bragged about the defeat of the Greeks by the Turkish army in 1923 in Asia Minor, a book authored by a pro-Erdogan historian and claiming the transformation of the Orthodox Christian Cathedral Hagia Sofia into a museum in 1935 was the result of American diplomats to prevent the historic Church from being turned into a Mosque and did not take place, is fueling extreme Islamist rhetoric in the country.
The book is attempting to legitimise claims that the Cathedral was never officially made into as museum, as Ant-1 TV’s nightly news bulletin showed. It is a clear attempt to revise history in Erdogan and his extreme Islamic supporters’ efforts to present Hagia Sofia as a Mosque and not a museum. The Turkish President, who plans to pray as a Muslim in Hagia Sophia on Good Friday during Eastern Orthodox Easter, is gradually escalating his provocations against Greece to galvanise his supporters in the wake of the April 16 referendum.
According to Turkish media, Mr. Erdogan will perform a Muslim prayer in Hagia Sofia with all his government, which will be a show of pro-Islamic force against Europe’s “crusaders” and the push to turn the Church into a Mosque.