Khalil Jihad, the Mufti of Komotini, urged respect for all religious sites, calling the conversion of Hagia Sophia a “provocative decision” by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Jihad suggested that Hagia Sophia should not become a mosque because that would put Christians and Muslims “in a difficult situation,” and that he preferred it remained a museum as “this would be good for human life, at this time in this situation.”
“Let us all have respect for the temples of worship. As the name suggests, Hagia Sophia is a Christian church. Of course, there were Orthodox Christians and when it was converted into a mosque during the Ottoman Empire until that date, that was it. And beyond that, when it was turned into a museum at that time, the political authorities decided this and that,” he said.
“It appears from its name that it is a Christian church, a holy temple for Christians,” he continued. “There are so many mosques named after Islamic names, Muslim names. With this name being converted into a mosque and that is- Hagia Sophia mosque, this is a bit strange.”