Mustafa Kaya: "Yesterday, today, tomorrow and Hagia Sophia"

Mustafa Kaya: "Yesterday, today, tomorrow and Hagia Sophia"
Date: 12.7.2020 16:30

Milli Gazete columnist Mustafa Kaya writes on Hagia Sophia. Here is the full article.

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The Conquest of Istanbul entered the world history as a very important and unchangeable development that closed the Middle Ages and opened the New Age. This is the case for all historiographies. In this regard, conquest is a great and indispensable reality. That is why even those who oppose have handed this right and had to accept what the Conquest of Istanbul corresponds to for world history. Therefore, the results of the conquest are legitimate in this respect. The change made in the status of Hagia Sophia, which Fatih Sultan Mehmet paid from his own personal wealth, bought it as a property and put it under the roof of the foundation, is also legitimate in this regard.
The decision that was taken unanimously by the Council of State and the Presidential Decree last Friday is the registration and determination of this legitimacy once again today. Some names, including lawyers expressing their belief, claimed that the country could not be governed by the laws of the Ottoman Empire with the declaration of the Republic. This cannot be a correct inference. Republic of Turkey has changed with the new state regime, but a continuation of the previous government has found life. Today, the establishment dates of some institutions are older than the declaration of the republic and these are the source of pride for us. In fact, our young state proudly acknowledges that it pays the debts left from the Ottoman Empire. Moreover, the foundation stock, title deed records related to Hagia Sophia are standing and in the middle, leaving no room for declaration and doubt. While this is the case, it is unfounded to have a legal discussion about Hagia Sophia's decision to turn into a mosque. There is also a view of this society to the culture of foundation, which remains current even after hundreds of years.
On the other hand, there are deep doubts about the decision to be converted into a museum taken in 1934. These doubts have not been able to find the exact answer so far. The existence of signatures under the decision of some ministers, which were officially determined with the minutes of the Assembly in which they were not in Ankara, is still a mystery. Besides, with the final decision, it would not be correct to open discussions such as regime and secularism in the country. This is a sovereignty issue. It is a matter of respect for history and law. Moreover, the management of the Hagia Sophia Mosque was handed over to the Presidency of Religious Affairs, which was also a republican institution and was established by Ghazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.
It is certain that this decision will also be discussed in terms of international relations. However, no discussion can prevent the facts we try to express above. Public interest requires the Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque and Turkey has undergone this process to life with the judiciary and the executive, as a sovereign state. The agreements to which we are a party in foreign policy are obvious. It is true that it is our duty to protect this place, which is a legacy of humanity. However, it will be possible to keep Hagia Sophia open to the visit of all humanity and carry it to the future with the quality of the mosque. Our attitudes and practices regarding our other historical values, including the Blue Mosque, are proof of this. Although our foreign policy counterparts object, the expected approach is to respect this decision and not to make this a problem in bilateral relations. They are avoiding impulsive decisions and behavior that can lead to undesirable consequences. It is to be careful against the possibility of a new ill-treatment against people who are already underlying fear and hatred of Muslims and an ugly attack period in their places of worship.
I would also like to mention the speech of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Friday evening. Generally speaking, there was motivation, restraint and determination in the speech. It included important titles. I learned that Nazım Hikmet had a poem about Hagia Sophia on this occasion. However, there may be a political expectation target in this decision. This goal is normal to some extent. It can be met with understanding. However, the ruling authorities should avoid actions and discourses that would harm the efforts of the CHP administration and other opposition groups, who have the potential to object to this decision, to understand and make sense of the value judgments of the general public. This approach will reinforce unity and solidarity inside critical decisions such as Hagia Sophia and strengthen our hand against the world. This decision should not be turned into a new campsite. Rather, it should be viewed as an opportunity for social peace.
Finally, I would like to express the following. This nation has paid a lot for Hagia Sophia so far. It was late, but justice has taken its place.
At this point, until now, Prof. Dr. Necmettin Erbakan, who always keeps the agenda of Hagia Sophia in his political life, to his teacher, poet, enthusiast, writer, politician and opinion leaders, to people of struggle whose names are not known from every part of the society,
İsmail Kandemir, a retired mathematics teacher who won the lawsuit he filed with the Council of State with his struggle for 26 years with the association he founded,
I would like to thank the distinguished judges of the 10th Department of the Council of State, which took this decision unanimously, and Mr.Erdoğan, who has approved the decision of the Council of State to turn Hagia Sophia into a mosque by fulfilling it without waiting.


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