Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan celebrated the conversion of the former Istanbul Hagia Sophia Basilica into a mosque as the first step in an Islamic “renaissance” that was to extend from Bukhara in Uzbekistan to Al Andalus in Spain.
“I heartily congratulate all cities that symbolize this (Islamic) civilization, from Bukhara to Al Andalus. This rebirth is our duty from Alp Arslan to Sultan Mehmed II and Abdul Hamid II”, all Arab or Ottoman leaders who are mainly known for it Erdogan said in his speech last Friday on their conquests that allowed them to expand their territories to commemorate the transformation of Hagia Sophia into a mosque.
“This rebirth is the symbol of the return of the rising sun of our civilization based on justice, conscience, ethics, monotheism and fraternity, the civilization that all of humanity is looking forward to,” he added.
Erdogan’s official Arabic-language speech broadcast by the press service includes these references, but Al Andalus is not mentioned at any time in either the Turkish or English versions.