Ekrem Şama: "Hagia Sophia before the conquest"

Ekrem Şama: "Hagia Sophia before the conquest"
Date: 15.6.2020 17:30

Milli Gazete columnist Ekrem Şama writes on Hagia Sophia. Here is the full article.

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Although there are about 17 centuries of history, let's write the things that have passed since Hagia Sophia with the beginning of 1204.
It is known that the Catholic Crusaders herds invaded Istanbul in 1204, destroyed the loot and Hagia Sophia. No matter how hard the Byzantine emperors worked, the dome was not fully repaired.
Finally, by sending an envoy to the 2nd Murat Han, they request that he repair the dome of Hagia Sophia and send an architect to take measures to prevent it from cracking or collapsing.
2. Murat Han also sends the famous Architect Ali Neccar to Byzantium, as a work of friendship. Ali Neccar is the architect of Bursa Ulu Mosque and many other works. Although he is older, he is the architect of the Ottoman State.
When the Sultan sends himself to Istanbul, he also gives some secret instructions. Ali Neccar strengthened the dome of Hagia Sophia with buttresses and made the necessary repairs. He built a two-step staircase inside the abutment walls on one side of Hagia Sophia.
When the emperor asked him what purpose he had made these stairs, he responded, "to go to the lead when needed". The emperor then overwhelmed Architect Ali Neccar with gifts.
On returning to our architect Edirne, Sultan II Murat Han:
"Sultan! I saved the dome of Hagia Sophia with four large buttresses. I prepared the bases of the minarets and placed them on your command and I performed the first prayer on it. Istanbul and Hagia Sophia are ready to be conquered.”
We learn this event from Evliya Çelebi's travel book.
Another interesting incident took place the night before the conquest.
The night connecting May 28 to May 29. Sultan Mehmet Han sent an order to his army and asked for the "Candle Navy" to be made. It has a pitch dark, light rain and electric air. As per the order received, as much as the illumination went dark, all the lighting tools were all burned at once, and the lines on the siege were illuminated like the day. In addition, how many tools and equipment to make a sound all began to boom. Big cannons were firing, and the troops were ringing with the sound of takbir and threats. From seven hills, seven enormous mehter teams started playing the highest pitched anthems, drum drumstring sounds and bosses thrust into the sky.
Byzantine soldiers and civilians rushed to the walls and watched the terrifying view with fear and excitement for them, and the soldiers who would be honored with the good news of the Prophet the next day were excited.
The young sultan was watching this view in front of his bed in Bayrampaşa with his teacher Akşemseddin. There was a remarkable event. Lightning flashes steadily towards where Hagia Sophia was located, almost creating a continuous sherry.
“Sultan, look, these are the luminous lights that descend on Hagia Sophia. The spiritual meaning of this, this temple will be a mosque tomorrow with your auspicious hands.”
At the same time, the Byzantines were watching this wonderful event. But according to them, this flood of light flowing into Hagia Sophia was considered a sign that God had given up helping them now.
At the peak of the night, Sultan Mehmet Han ordered a new order to turn off all the light sources and stop the sounds and calmly wait for the morning prayer.
This sudden silence and darkness had completely depressed the morale of the Byzantine soldiers and their people.
Everyone knows that the sultan performed the morning prayer to his entire army and the events that followed. The next day is the conquest of May 29th. After the afternoon, the young sultan, who went to Hagia Sophia, went to the dome and looked at the minaret places with the foundations laid, and a minaret was built until Friday, and the icons were closed with a thin plaster and preparations for Friday prayers were made. On Friday, June 1, 1453, Hodja Akşemseddin made the first Friday, which means the registration of Hagia Sophia as a mosque. The following 481 years azan was read continuously in Hagia Sophia and prayers were performed.
As Yahya Kemal Beyatlı said in his book “Beautiful Istanbul”, two great signs that emphasize this feature of the capital city of Islam, Istanbul, with the title of the Caliph of Yavuz Sultan Selim Han, which was read continuously in the minarets of Hagia Sophia. It is the Holy Quran that it started in the Sacred Relics Department and is still being read without interruption.


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