The Presidency's Directorate of Communications published two books and prepared a documentary on Hagia Sophia for the second anniversary of the re-opening of the Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque to worship. In the book "Architectural Features of the Magnificent Hagia Sophia", President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan wrote in the foreword, "Hagia Sophia's regaining the status of a mosque is a dream come true for not only the Turkish nation but all Muslims around the world."
For the second anniversary of the re-opening of the Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque, a documentary named "Hagia Sophias of Türkiye" was prepared, and the books "Architectural Features of the Magnificent Hagia Sophia" and "The Never-Stopping Agenda of the Presidency’s Communication Centre: From the Hagia Sophia Museum to the Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque" were published.
In the documentary "Hagia Sophias of Türkiye", the history and stories of nine Hagia Sophia mosques in different cities of Anatolia, including the Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque in İstanbul, were told.
The documentary, which includes the unique architectural textures of Hagia Sophia mosques in Türkiye and the details of historical artefacts, which means "sacred wisdom", aimed to promote Türkiye's cultural and religious tourism.
The documentary "Hagia Sophias of Türkiye", two of which are in İstanbul, and the others in İznik, Edirne, Kırklareli, Trabzon, Gümüşhane, Zonguldak and Bitlis, in which unique beauties in terms of religion, architecture and art history and the mosques bearing the important name of Hagia Sophia are introduced, will be broadcast on TRT Documentary and the social media accounts of the Directorate at 21.00 tomorrow.
President Erdoğan wrote the foreword to the book "Architectural Features of the Magnificent Hagia Sophia"
The 103-page book entitled "The Architectural Features of the Magnificent Hagia Sophia" was also published by the Directorate of Communications, compiling the 1984 Hagia Sophia surveys conducted by German Architect Wilhelm Salzenberg and published by the German Royal Printing House.
The structures of Hagia Sophia in the church and mosque periods are covered in detail in the book, as are the architectural and historical stories of the mosaics, columns, spectacular doors, and natural stones.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who wrote the foreword of the book, recalled that on July 10, 2020, following the Council of State's decision to annul the regulation of the Council of Ministers dated 1934, which transformed Hagia Sophia from a mosque to a museum, they ensured that Hagia Sophia was opened to worship again as a mosque.
President Erdoğan noted:
"Hagia Sophia's regaining the status of a mosque is a dream come true for not only the Turkish nation but all Muslims around the world. Following the steps we have taken to reconvert Hagia Sophia into a mosque, our nation flocked to the Hagia Sophia Mosque, and messages of joy poured out from all over the world, which are the greatest proof of the love and longing for this great temple. I believe that the re-opening of the Hagia Sophia Mosque, which had been crestfallen for 86 years, reflects the feelings of our nation and all Muslims. The Hagia Sophia Mosque, which we have always regarded with reverence throughout history, has embraced all humanity for centuries with the preservation of its common heritage and its decoration with the most elegant examples of the aesthetics and art of the Turkish-Islamic culture.
Our ancestors have always doted upon this holy temple, the heritage of Fatih Sultan Mehmet Khan. We protect the Hagia Sophia Mosque as we preserve our other historical and cultural assets in our country."
Noting that the Hagia Sophia Mosque is also an indicator of the extent to which religious freedoms have reached in the country, President Erdoğan stated that the Hagia Sophia Mosque, just like many historical mosques in Türkiye, would always be open to citizens from other beliefs and our guests visiting the country.
"Hagia Sophia Mosque will continue to live as a World Cultural Heritage"
President Erdoğan pointed out that the reconversion of the Hagia Sophia Mosque into a place of worship did not result in the loss of its World Cultural Heritage status and made the following evaluations:
"The Hagia Sophia Mosque, the triumph of a conquest that opened and closed an era, and the sacred entrustment of our ancestors, will continue to live as a World Cultural Heritage with its feature which adds beauty to the silhouette of İstanbul. The re-opening of Hagia Sophia as a mosque after 86 years is certainly a historical event. Nevertheless, we will not allow this decision to be distorted and exploited by those who spill out their hatred dating back centuries and seek a pretext for Islamophobia. With its historical, religious, and cultural features, the Hagia Sophia Mosque is the best response to the hate crimes committed against Muslims in various parts of the world, and Islamophobia, which is on the rise, particularly in Europe."
Stressing that the Turkish nation, which has never harmed the legacy of its ancestors, has the sole authority and voice, as has been the case in the decision concerning the Hagia Sophia Mosque, President Erdoğan said, "This book prepared by the Directorate of Communications puts forth the historical, architectural, religious, and cultural importance of the Hagia Sophia Mosque, and also addresses the re-opening of Hagia Sophia as a mosque within the context of national and international law."
Citizens' Hagia Sophia posts compiled into a book
On the other hand, the Directorate of Communications compiled the posts of the citizens about Hagia Sophia sent through the Presidency's Communication Centre (CIMER), which serves as the communication bridge between the nation and the state, into a book.
The book titled "The Never-Stopping Agenda of the Presidency's Communication Centre: From the Hagia Sophia Museum to the Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque" contains citizens' requests sent to CİMER since 2016 to re-open Hagia Sophia as a mosque, as well as messages of gratitude following the final decision to do so.