On Saturday, May 31st, 2014, at the invitation of the Anatolian Youth Association (Anadolu Gençlik Derneği), morning prayer was organized and held in the courtyard of Hagia Sophia. The prayer was led by the Imam of Mecca, Abdullah Basfar. Tens of thousands of fanatical Muslims from different parts of the city participated.
Prior to praying the crowd shouted slogans, such as “break the chains and open Hagia Sophia.”
The entire operation, which was designed to create a climate of pressure and an excuse, to “compel” the government into converting Hagia Sophia into a mosque, was organized and coordinated by circles of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Gülen, who as a platform used Hagia Sophia, to gain supporters from among the many fanatical hordes of voters in Turkey.
The president of the Anatolian Youth, Salih Turan, in statements made recently, claimed that “Hagia Sophia is the symbol of conquest, it is the crown of the status of Islam in the west”. He also pointed to the demand for conversion into a mosque, and noted that the conversion of Hagia Sophia from a mosque into a museum in 1934, “was illegal”.