New provocation: Video of Turkish preacher calling Muslims to prayer in Hagia...

New provocation: Video of Turkish preacher calling Muslims to prayer in Hagia Sophia

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A Turkish Muslim Muezzin called Muslims to prayer using the religious ‘Adhan’ from Hagia Sophia in Constantinople. The video shows the Islamic preacher calling all Muslims to come to prayer from inside the UNESCO designated building, something that has not happened for 85 years. The ‘Adhan’ is a tradition practised to summon believers in Islam to prayer from the Muslim minarets, but it is the first time it took place from the former centre of Orthodox Christianity. Hagia Sophia was the greatest Christian Cathedral in the world for nearly 10 centuries, before it was turned into a Muslim mosque in 1453 after the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks. In 1935 the secular Turkish government turned the mosque into a museum. The Erdogan government allowed the recitation of the Quran in the Hagia Sofia during the Muslim month of Ramadan, a move that caused diplomatic friction between the Turkish government and the Greek government. The latest provocation was met with a lukewarm reaction from the Grek Foreign Ministry. Efstratios Efthymiou, the Foreign Ministry spokesperson expressed the grave concerns and discomfort over one more step that undermines the character of the building as a site of global cultural heritage. ‘We call on Turkey to adjust to the demands of European culture and stop backing anachronistic and incomprehensible activities’, said Efthymiou.

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