Arab media commentators have labeled Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan a hypocrite and said his recent decision to convert the Hagia Sophia from a cultural site and museum back into a mosque plays into the hands of extremists.
Spot the difference.— Jenan Moussa (@jenanmoussa) July 11, 2020
Erdogan in English: Hagia Sophia's doors will be, as is the case with all our mosques, wide open to all, whether they be foreign or local, Muslim or non-Muslim.
Erdogan in Arabic: Revival of Hagia Sophia is a sign towards return of freedom to AlAqsa mosque. pic.twitter.com/6Niid8fP8J
Appealing to extremists, Muslim Brotherhood
Turkey's Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, accompanied by head of Turkey's Religious Affairs Directorate Ali Erbas, visits the Hagia Sophia or Ayasofya-i Kebir Camii in Istanbul, Turkey, July 12, 2020. (Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry/Handout via Reuters)
Erdogan accused of hypocrisy
History of Hagia Sophia
Last week a top Turkish court revoked the sixth-century Hagia Sophia's status as a museum, clearing the way for it to be turned back into a mosque. (File photo: AFP)
Reaction from the rest of the world
Hagia Sophia: UNESCO deeply regrets the decision of the Turkish authorities, made without prior discussion, and calls for the universal value of #WorldHeritage to be preserved.— UNESCO (@UNESCO) July 10, 2020
Full statement: https://t.co/WiZpjyagqF pic.twitter.com/klcMR9pmxC