Turkey’s Islamist president is threatening to convert one of the world’s most historic and iconic Christian churches into an Islamic mosque, in a move designed to appease Tayyip Erdogan’s political base and insult Christians.
The Council of State of Turkey is expected to rule this week on a request by Erdogan to convert the Hagia Sophia Museum into an Islamic mosque, and international observers are expecting that the court system will sign off on Erdogan’s initiative to turn the former church into a mosque.
The Hagia Sophia Church was constructed in Constantinople(today known as Istanbul) in A.D. 537 by Justinian, the then-Emperor of the Eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire. The church was a global symbol of the Byzantine civilization throughout the Middle Ages. It was converted into an Islamic mosque in the year 1453 when the Ottoman Empire captured Constantinople under the leadership of Mehmed II, a moment in history that Erdogan and his supporters point to as a moment of national pride.
When Turkey emerged from the declining Ottoman Empire shortly after World War I, the nation’s contemporary founder, Kemal Ataturk, arranged for the building to be placed into a use as a museum. The building, which is Turkey’s most visited tourist attraction to this day, has remained as such since 1935.
The church remains a holy symbol to hundreds of millions of Orthodox Christians throughout the world today. Bartholomew I, the Christian bishop who holds the Byzantine title of “Patriarch of Constantinople” in Istanbul, warned of the consequences of such an inflammatory cultural act. “The potential conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque will turn millions of Christians around the world against Islam… What can I say as a Christian clergyman and the Greek patriarch in Istanbul? Instead of uniting, a 1,500-year-old heritage is dividing us. I am saddened and shaken.”
The 6th century building is not only noteworthy to two major world religions(originally Christianity), but is the most architecturally impressive building preserved from the early Middle Ages. Many of Constantinople’s most historic churches and buildings, such the Church of the Holy Apostles, were destroyed by the Ottoman conquerors in the decades following the 1453 Siege of Constantinople.
The Hagia Sophia church contains some of the most-well preserved medieval Byzantine images of Christ, Mary, various saints, and several Eastern Roman Emperors. As images of the human form are prohibited in Islam, some have questioned whether the artwork- which was uncovered from beneath a coating material when the building was phased from an Ottoman mosque into a museum- will be destroyed in the event it’s turned back into a mosque.
U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, the government of Greece(which views itself as the inheritor of the Byzantine Empire’s Greek-speaking legacy), and United Nations cultural institutions have spoken against the planned usurpation of the historic church. Pope Francis has been conspicuously silent, thus far.
Italian Nationalist Leader Matteo Salvini Could Face Up to 15 Years in Prison for Rejecting Migrants
The Italian deep state is after Salvini.
Italian nationalist leader and former Interior Minister Matteo Salvini could face up to 15 years in prison for rejecting third-world migrants as the country’s deep state takes aim at the populist firebrand.
The Italian Senate voted 149-141 last week to remove parliamentary immunity for Salvini. This will allow the Italian deep state to charge Salvini for his decision as Interior Minister to detain third-world migrants at sea who were trying to land on Italian shores.
“If anyone thinks the are going to scare me with a politically-motivated trial, you’ve got the wrong man,” Salvini said to the Senate before the vote.
Additionally, prosecutors in the city of Palermo are accusing Salvini of overreach for not allowing 80 migrants to disembark from a trafficking boat. Salvini remains completely defiant in the face of potential charges.
“Defending Italy is not a crime. I am proud of it, I would do it again, and I will do it again,” Salvini said last week.
Political analyst Franco Pavoncello said that the charges could backfire and put Salvini back into the limelight. The COVID-19 pandemic has slowed the momentum of Salvini and his League party because they have not been able to hold large rallies due to the added restrictions.
“At the moment Salvini generates little media interest. The decision to strip him of his immunity would re-open the case and could whip up media attention,” Pavoncello said to AFP.
“Those who vote to send him to trial in a bid to create political problems for him could end up giving him the limelight instead,” he added.
Big League Politics has reported on how Salvini remains a political force in Italy even after he was forced out of power by his former coalition partners:
The leader of Italy’s League Party, Matteo Salvini, was recently ousted from his position as the nation’s Interior Minister after the Five Star Movement betrayed him and allied with the globalist establishment last month.
But the anti-migrant, pro-nationalist leader is down but not out. A massive rally was held in Salvini’s honor on Sunday where he vowed that he “will never give up” on his fight against European Union (EU) globalists.
Salvini told the “traitors” in the new government that he would come for his rightful spot at he helm of the nation the before long.
“Those who thought that I would be worn out and need a break, I give my word of honor, I will work even more than before,” he told the audience.
“I won’t give up because our country deserves everything. I’d rather concede seven ministry posts to traitors now, that we will win back with interest and transparency in a few months,” Salvini added.
The League estimated that 80,000 supporters rallied on behalf of their leader in Pontida, which has significance to the nationalist League Party because it was the site where medieval leaders took a legendary oath to repel a foreign emperor.
Salvini’s supporters were emboldened by the rally where their leader called for a peaceful and democratic revolution in Italy against the coup attempt that drove him from power.
“I like Salvini because he is the only one that fights the idea of a European Union, which I do not support, because I believe the European bureaucrats do not do Italy any good,” said Luca Carminati, a laborer fears his job will be lost due to massive taxation and regulation imposed by globalist bureaucrats.
“Salvini fights that idea. He is trying to give value to the Italian people again,” Carminati added.
A new coalition between the Five Star Movement and the establishment socialists of the Democratic Party rules over Italy for the time being. A recent survey published by the il Sole 24 Ore newspaper reports that 55 percent of Italians disapprove of the new coalition, while Salvini’s party remains the most popular in the country with 34 percent of support of Italians.
Similar to the cases of U.S. President Donald Trump and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, Salvini is being persecuted by the deep state of his country for standing with his people against globalism.
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