Hagia Sophia’s mosque conversion will pave the way for Turkey - YUSUF KAPLAN

Hagia Sophia’s mosque conversion will pave the way for Turkey

This country’s Republic is an extension of Turkey’s modernization that started with the Tanzimat (period of reform) in 1839. This is a two-century process, an interregnum period, an era when we officially fell out of loop with the times.

Those who produced this age, developed its concepts and institutions are the Westerners alone, not us. Turkish modernization is not a new beginning but an expression to the West. The West making history while we watch on the sidelines signifies our loss of confidence and turning our backs on ourselves.

SHACKLES ON OUR MINDS!

Turkish modernization, the process of epistemological refraction and ontological disengagement, which made a sharp turn especially during the Republic period, is not our modernization as we have been told and forced to accept, but our oppression.

We are not the ones producing the era’s call but the ones consuming it. Thus, we consider the West as the “producer” and “subject” and ourselves as the “object,” as those who blindly “consume” what the West produces – without understanding what it actually all means.

What does this signify?

It is our free will being taken from us, our minds being chained.

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF HAGIA SOPHIA’S RECONVERSION TO A MOSQUE

Please, somebody give us a rational explanation as to why Hagia Sophia ceased to be a mosque!

Hagia Sophia’s status as a mosque being revoked signifies Turkey’s symbolic loss of mental independence. Its reconversion, on the other hand – I do not mean to exaggerate – is a major event like the re-conquering of Istanbul. It is Turkey’s recovery, reclaim of its identity, history and spirit, its mental liberation; it is the realization that those who are mentally chained can do nothing other than be dragged as epistemological slaves from one corner to another in the web of an age built by others.

The re-opening of the Hagia Sophia Mosque is the spark that will trigger the great journey we have been called upon so that we can escape the web spun by the West – and which we had entered voluntarily – to build the new age; it is the spark that will partially eliminate obstacles, making it possible for us to start a new great historic march, and its declaration to the whole world.

The conversion of Hagia Sophia signifies that Turkey will rise to the position of a founding country that will start a kick-start a new age, build a new age, lead the Islamic world in the establishment of a new world, and the declaration to the whole world that Turkey is the only country that can achieve this.

Both the Muslim world and the West received this message loud and clear. Hagia Sophia’s conversion was welcomed with great joy in the Islamic world, while the West was overwhelmed with grief and even anger.

OUR OBLIGATIONS REGARDING HAGIA SOPHIA

Hagia Sophia is a concrete example of one of our civilization’s fundamental principles of existence that breathes life into even dying cultures, that builds a new world and revives life, not one that destroyed everyone and everything that crosses its path – unlike Western civilization.

Hagia Sophia is more than Hagia Sophia itself: once Hagia Sophia’s symbolic and historical value is fully grasped, it will be discerned that Hagia Sophia is a very powerful expression of the guarantee for non-Muslims’ religious freedom and for them to build their lives around their own faith under the sovereignty of Muslims.

In a nutshell, Hagia Sophia has been converted into a mosque, paving the way for Turkey’s game-changing, system-making role.

Turkey is preparing for a century later – it has to.

It is gradually progressing towards becoming a superpower – it has no other choice.

There is one condition for this to materialize: the generations of the upcoming decades need to be equipped with the awareness of history and civilization. We are falling very behind in this respect; we are losing time and energy.

At this point, besides the state, individuals, organizations, religious groups that are going to lead the way for the community must also fulfill their obligations before it is too late.

You cannot build a world sans humans.

If you have lost your people or are losing them, then you are doomed to destroy your future with your own two hands.

The conversion of Hagia Sophia burdens us with a great obligation.

If we are unable to fulfill this obligation in the following process as a state and community, if we are unable to train leading generations that will pave the way for us in education, culture, art, thinking and science, the loss will be severe.

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