First Modern-Day Quran Recitation in Hagia Sophia Takes Place on Greek Easter Saturday

Hagia Sophia Quran recitation

The historic Istanbul cathedral and museum, Hagia Sophia, witnessed its first Quran recitation under its roof after 85 years on Greek Easter Saturday, Anadolu agency reported.

On April 11th the imam at modern Ahmet Hamdi Akseki Mosque in the capital Ankara Ali Tel, recited a passage from the Islamic holy scripture, Quran on April 11.

The recitation took place during the exhibition “Love of Prophet,” that the Turkish Religious Affairs Directorate launched to commemorate the birth of Islamic Prophet Muhammad.

According to Anadolu, Religious Affairs Chairman Mehmet Gormez, Undersecretary for Ministry of Culture and Tourism Ahmet Haluk and Istanbul Governor Vasip Sahin attended the opening ceremony.

The historic basilica served as a cathedral for almost thousand years until 1453, when it was turned into a mosque when Byzantine Constantinople fell and became part of the Ottoman empire. The Turkish government secularized and converted Hagia Sophia into a museum in 1935.


  1. Of course, Greeks never did anything like that. Do you even go to church? If you did, you would know that the Holy Day is not “Greek Easter,” but Pascha, and it has nothing to do with Greeks. Besides, when was Constantinople ever Greek? Never.

  2. They haven’t claimed it. It’s theirs. And has been since they booted out the dying remnants of the Eastern Roman Empire in 1453. It never was Greek, and that’s what happens in wartime.

  3. You have no idea what you are talking about troll. Despite Turkish atrocities Greeks existed long past 1453 in Constantinople. Today of course it is almost 100 percent Muslim but as little as a century ago there were still over 100,000 Greeks that lived there. Ongoing pogroms of Greeks changed that. (last one in 1955 was comparible in size to Nazi Kristallnacht pogrom on Jews)

  4. Lots of nice jingoistic talk down there! The Greeks aren’t even smart enough to keep from going broke. What makes you think they can build nukes, or for that matter use them? You people are just demonstrating that you know nothing about history. Phil is especially an idiot. I never said there were never any Greeks in Istanbul. I said it was never a Greek city. There is a huge difference. I stay with Greek friends every time I’m there. By the way, In the many trips I have made to Hagia Sophia, I have never seen a mural. Where are they? Do you mean the mosaics which were preserved and restored by the Turks after the Byzantines let them crumble and fall apart? There isn’t a lot of Greek on those either, except for a few names. As far as your desparate claim that the anti-Greek riots were as bad as Kristallnacht, lets go with Greek sources: 15 dead? Because of riots after Greeks bombed Ataturk’s house? Right. I’ve seen bigger riots in Athens and at Heraklion. You have to remember that the 1955 riots were instigated by an orthodox clergyman, not that that is in itself unusual. The Izmir anti-Turkish riots from a century ago were also started by an Orthodox clergyman. Now, start learning a bit of the history. I have said nothing incorrect or even slightly exagerrated, and just because it doesn’t square with what a bunch of whining Greeks want to believe, doesn’t make it wrong.

  5. are you kidding, Byzantium is a Greek city that was redesigned by Romans Constantine hence the name Constantinople…Hagia Sophia is a Greek Orthodox Church you dont have to be Greek to know that…

  6. Phil, I don’t claim to be American. I am American. I served in the American military. I hold an American commission. I have an American passport. I live in America. I have an American wife. My children are American citizens. Being American has nothing to do with ancestry. I am of Saxon heritage. No one ever pressured me to delete my actual heritage. What a bunch of nonsense! My Greek friends are the same way. The still have plenty of Greek heritage, and no one pressures them to get rid of it. Now, back to your problem: in 1453, there was no Greece. As a matter of fact, there had never been a “Greece.” The notion of “Greece” was not invented until 1819, and when it was invented, they couldn’t find a Greek to run it, so they did what almost all other monarchies in Europe did, important a German. The Eastern Roman Empire used the Greek language, sure, among others. Belize uses English, that doesn’t make them American. By the way, what indigenous native Indians? They came here from elsewhere too. That argument just borders on dumb. The Greeks who currently populate the country of Greece had nothing to do with the civilization at Mycenae nor with most of the dynasties who ran the Eastern Roman Empire. Are you not a rsident of this country? Very few Americans would agree with your take above.

  7. boring! FYI, The bombing of the Ataturks house was staged by the Turkish secret agents, it was done so the Turks can deport the remaining indegenous Greeks from Constantinople, continuing their ethnic cleansing, which started during WW1 known as the Greek genocide, also The city of Byzantine was founded by Greeks!

  8. Alexander, there are still plenty of Greeks living in Instanbul. I stay with some when I visit. Have you ever been there?

  9. And your point is what? The fishing village of Byzantium may have been founded by Greeks. I don’t know. But so what? New York was founded by the Dutch. What does that have to do with anything?

  10. Did you take permission from Califa Omar bin Al Khatab (577-644) to put his name on the wall of the Church ?……I’m sure he would have not accepted it …because he was not a thief like you ..
    He never entered a Church to transfer it to Mosque …read History you savage Turks …You destroyed 2600 churches in our lands…Which you call it Turkey…

  11. “Very few Americans would agree with your take above.”

    Most “Americans” (aka mostly people non-native to America that were assimilated into American ideology) couldn’t point to Greece on a map. Most “American” doubt evolution happened. A fair chunk believe invisible flying spaghetti monster created the world 6000 years ago.

    The opinions of “most” is if of no concern to anyone rational. All the matters is the facts. Ask actual historians.. and the picture isn’t as black and white you dishonestly make it out to be. From standpoint of Greeks we have far more in common with ancient Greeks than most Americans, a nation of immigrants, have in common with US founding fathers.

    “Greeks, Armenians, Jews, Persians, Chinese and Japanese
    could be cited as examples of ethnic continuity, since, despite massive
    cultural changes over the centuries, certain key identifying components—name, language, customs, religious community and territorial association—were broadly maintained and reproduced for millennia.”

    – Anthony D. Smith British Professor Emeritus of Nationalism and Ethnicity LSE, Nationalism and Modernism, 2003, Cambridge University Press.

  12. “I said it was never a Greek city”

    Nonsense. It was a majority Greek city even past Ottoman conquests.. There is no such thing as a “Byzantine”. The were Greek speaking Romans many of whom considered ancient Greeks their ancestors. Wether one wants to call them Greeks or Greeks assimilated into Roman identity is largely irrelevant. Its part of our history not yours.

    ” “As far as your desparate claim that the anti-Greek riots were as bad as Kristallnacht”

    It was. The numbers may have been less but it was just as brutal. it was also THOUSANDS that were persecuted. (including rapes of both men and women, setting fire to thousands of properties, beatings, murder, etc…)

    “Because of riots after Greeks bombed Ataturk’s house?” You have to remember that the 1955 riots were instigated by an orthodox clergyman

    LIES. LIES. LIES. It wasn’t Greeks that set fire to Ataturks house. It was Turkish ultra nationalists on behalf of Turkish government that did it because they knew it would result in a pogrom against Greeks

    You are an apologist for ethnic cleansers. Evil.

  13. “What makes you think they can build nukes”

    The laws of physics. They are not exclusive to nations that currently have large stockpiles of nuclear weapons…. while hypocritically lecturing others not to have them.

    Were it up to me (rather than current pansies) Greece would have a nuclear weapons program. People tend to be more respectful of borders when they know those they are threatening can turn them into nuclear ash. Nukes are also the only way to make sure Greek hating slime balls don’t attempt to erase Greeks from ethnic existence again.

  14. Byzantium was hardly just a fishing village with Ottoman savages invaded it and murdered much of its population..


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