Romans found Constantinople in 330 A.D. under Emperor Constantine I. They built the Hagia Sophia cathedral at Constantinople in the 6th century under the direction of the Byzantine emperor Justinian I. Christians believed that Holy Mary lived there.

After the Turkish conquest of Constantinople in 1453, Sultan Mehmet Fatih, who was an Ottoman Sultan during the period of King Constantine 11 of Constantinople, conquered Hagia Sophia. He turned Hagia Sophia into a mosque. It had been a museum for the last 86 years, drawing millions of tourists annually after World War II when Kemal Atatürk again converted it into a museum.

However, the president of Turkey Recep Tayyib Erdogan, on Friday 10th July, formally converted Istanbul’s sixth-century Hagia Sophia back into a mosque and declared it open for Muslim worship. Christians have been against this decision because it was their worship place for over thousands of years. And Muslims are too not supportive of this decision. The Church in Russia immediately expressed regret on the president’s decision. To conclude, the decision was rightfully made as before the conquest Sultan Mehmet purchased the land of Hagia Sophia. The documents for the ownership of Hagia Sophia still belong to Sultan Mehmet, which are available in the museum. So the land belongs to Muslims and they should convert it into a mosque.

YUSRA FATEH,

Karachi.