CNA Staff, Jul 24, 2020 / 12:00 pm
An Islamic political party in Indonesia said Tuesday that Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan could spark a civilizational clash because of his calls for an Islamic "reawakening" amid the establishment of the Hagia Sophia as a mosque.
A recent tweet from Erdogan "summoned Muslims 'in every corner of the earth' to follow Turkey's lead in reawakening the Islamic nation, or ummah, which was largely united under the political and military leadership of a caliph from the 7th century CE until the dissolution of the Ottoman Caliphate in 1924," Indonesia's National Awakening Party said in a July 21 statement.
Recent statements from the Turkish president "are attacking the rules-based international order; inflaming emotions 'wherever Muslims dwell throughout the earth;' and threaten to
rekindle a clash of civilizations that afflicted humanity for nearly 1300 years, along a fault line stretching 'from Bukhara (in Central Asia) to al-Andalus (Spain),'" the statement added.
While "President Erdogan has defended the conversion of Hagia Sofia into a mosque by citing Turkey's right, as a sovereign nation state, to do as it pleases with the former Orthodox Christian cathedral," the effects of the president's call for an Islamic reawakening "extend far beyond Turkey's borders and threaten both Muslim- majority and non-Muslim nations worldwide," the National Awakening Party said.
Hagia Sophia, the church of "Holy Wisdom," was built in the year 537 and served as the cathedral of the Patriarch of Constantinople. It stood as the largest known building in the world and the largest Christian church, for a period of time.