Turkish academic calls for dismantling Hagia Sophia mosaics

“Will there be a prostitute in the mosque?”, asks Dr. Ebubekir Sofuoğlu, Turkish historian, in his Twitter account.

“However, if icons are not eliminated, Hagia Sophia will be the first mosque in the world where prostitutes will be exhibited,” he also wrote.

He refers to the “Zoe mosaic“. Dating back to the 11th century, the work depicts Empress Zoe on the right, holding a scroll that represents the donations made to the church. On the left of the mosaic is Emperor Constantine IX, a bag of coins in his hand that also symbolises the donations. Christ sits on a throne in the middle. Wearing blue robes, he holds a bible and gestures a blessing with his right hand.

Dr. Sofuoğlu calls for dismantling the mosaics despite Turkey’s presidential spokesman said that historical mosaics of Istanbul’s iconic Hagia Sophia will be preserved, as they have been for the past 500 years. “The main point here is that there is no damage to these mosaics, depictions, the historical texture, and architecture of the building,” Ibrahim Kalin told Turkish news channel NTV.