Hagia Sophia and Eastern Roman Empire

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Hagia Sophia is the great rich remain and an important monument for the Eastern Roman Empire commonly known as the Byzantine Empire. It remain the Centre for Orthodox Church for nearly a thousand years. The current version was built in the year 532. This iconic monument was built twice before. The primary version was built in the 306 by Constantius II. Later it was burned in the riots in the year 404. The second version was built in the year 405 which was incinerate in the Nika riots in the year 532.

In the same year Emperor Justinian directed the construction of the modern and the current version of the Church which is still standing tall. Emperor Justinian wanted to remain in the history therefore he urged to construct the Church which had to larger and more majestic than it’s predecessors. He urged to cover the enormous tomb with gold tiles. The tomb collapse in the year 558 during the earthquake which was immediately reinstated following the order of the Emperor.

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Eastern Roman Empire fell in the year 1453 which effectively marked the end of the Roman Empire which lasted for nearly 1500 years. Sultan Mehmed II succeded his father at the age of 19. At that time the Christian never thought that he will challenge the Christian hegemony. The Arab tried twice before to conquer Constantinople (sixth and 7th century). They failed to invade the land. Chiristian alley never thought Sultan Mehmed II will challenge the Christian hegemony but in the year 1453 sultan army surrounded Constantinople and sent an ambassador to the King and offered to lift the siege if the King give him the city. He also promised the King he would allow the King and other inhabitant to leave with their possession. 

The King denied and sent the message to the sultan he will fight till his last breath. The king was never ready to leave the city without a fight. The Ottoman Empire army outnumber the Christian army (200k men against 8k). The 55th day the King lost his life in the defense of Constantinople. Finally, with the death of King the Christian hegemony lost the city but the blood shed remain for 3 more days.

Later the old cathedral was converted into the mosque. The tomb of the church was covered with Koranic inscriptions and slender tower were built Cathedral remain as a mosque nearly 500 years. In the year 1935. The Turk’s first president Mustafa Kemal Atatürk pronounce the mosque into museum. Recently, decision of museum is denounced by the current regime, whereas the decision is confronted by many countries including UNESCO.

It seem now the modern regime of turkey is using this magnificent monument for the political point scoring. They promised during the election campaign they will convert this iconic monument into a mosque which they did. They did not kept in mind the retaliation they might face against this decision. Now we need to see if the monument decision will be reverted or it would remain as the mosque.  

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