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Turkey to convert Hagia Sofia Basilica into Mosque over Pope’s Armenian Genocide statement

Irked by Pope Francis’ statement on the Armenian mass killings, Turkey is planning to convert the historic Hagia Sofia Catheral into a Muslim prayer house, a top Turkish Islamic leader said.

“Frankly, I believe that the pope’s remarks will only accelerate the process for Hagia Sophia to be re-opened for [Muslim] worship,” Professor Mefail Hızlı, the mufti of Ankara, said in a written statement released late April 15, the Hurriyet Daily News reports.

According to Hızlı, the pope’s statement “has reflected a modern color of the crusader wars launched in these lands for centuries.” These lands have long been the “standard bearer” of the Muslim world, meaning many enemies, both from inside and outside of the country, have been launching attacks with different methods.

“The statement that the Catholic world’s spiritual leader pope delivered on April 12, saying Armenians had been subjected to a genocide, is extremely spectacular,” Hızlı said, noting that the pope’s statement was intruding on the realm of historians and was hastily made.

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