The Treaty of Lausanne, signed on 24 July 1923, annulled the Treaty of Sèvres and created modern Turkey while respecting the demands of Mustafa Kemal. He had Hagia Sophia in Istanbul restored and offered it to humanity by turning it into a museum in 1934.
On 24 July 2020, on the occasion of this anniversary, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan reconverted the former cathedral of the Eastern Roman Empire into a mosque.
The ceremony was designed to glorify the Islamic conquest of the world and the capture of Constantinople by Sultan Mehmet II (later called “The Conqueror”) in 1453. Also, to be in character, the religious leader delivered his sermon brandishing a scimitar (photo).
While the purpose assigned to the building is exclusively a Turkish matter, the mosque inauguration ceremony constituted a belligerent message to the world, thus bringing to an end the “United Nations Alliance of Civilizations” project launched in 2006 by Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan himself.