On July 21, 2020, Al-Jazeera Network (Qatar) aired a debate about Turkey's recent decision to turn Hagia Sophia into a mosque. Syrian political analyst Abd Al-Masih Al-Shami said that Hagia Sophia is being turned into a mosque in order to re-ignite the conflict between Islam and Christianity, and between Turkey and Europe. Turkish journalist Hamza Tekin said that Turkey is sending a message to the Muslim world that it is a strong Islamic country that can restore its historical days of glory, and that it is sending a message to the rest of the world that it is now capable of breaking the "spiritual shackles" that have been binding Turkey for the past 100 years since the Hagia Sophia mosque was shut down. Tekin said that Turkey can do as it pleases with Hagia Sophia, even it if wishes to demolish it or burn it down. In addition, he said that the light that will emerge from the first prayers in Hagia Sophia will stop the Deal of the Century and liberate the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Furthermore, he said that Turkish fighter planes are flying around the Greek Islands, promising that "something big" is going to happen there. He added: "Turkey will reclaim the rights that have been stolen from it everywhere!"
Abd Al-Masih Al-Shami: "The main purpose of this is to rekindle Christian-Islamic strife, and to reignite [Turkey's] conflict with Europe, so that Erdoğan can mobilize Muslims from around the world to fight his wars against the Christians and Europe."
Hamza Tekin: "Turkey needs to send a powerful message to the world, which still sees Turkey as a weak country that follows foreign dictates. The message of turning Hagia Sophia [into a mosque] is first and foremost a message to the Muslim world that Turkey has become a strong Islamic country that can return to its historical days of greatness, when the great Mehmed the Conqueror conquered Constantinople and spread the message to the entire Muslim world - particularly to Cairo, the capital of Egypt, where people praised his conquest. This stands in contrast to today's Cairo, which is occupied by turban-wearers who attacked Mehmed the Conqueror and the re-conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque. They do this only because they work for the intelligence apparatus of the dictatorial regimes.
"The second message of Hagia Sophia is to the entire world: Turkey is powerful today, and with the power it has achieved in two decades, it can now break the strongest spiritual shackles that bound it roughly 100 years ago. A hundred years ago, the entire world said that the Hagia Sophia mosque must be shut down - why? Because they understood very well the spiritual power of this glorious building. Today, Turkey is saying: 'We will no longer be subjugated by the West or the East.' This is a sovereign Turkish decision. Hagia Sophia is on Turkish soil and under Turkish control, and Turkey can do with it as it pleases. It can turn it into a mosque, it can demolish it, it can burn it down, or it can turn it into a church. It can do whatever it wants, but it has decided to make it [a mosque] again, as it had been in the past."
"Turkey stands alone with a few other countries against the cursed Deal of the Century. Take my word for it, the light that will emerge from Hagia Sophia during the [prayers[ on the 24th of July will stop the Deal of the Century, and it will soon liberate the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
"Turkey has started to act in the Greek Islands. As we speak on this show, Turkish fighter planes are flying over the Greek Islands for the first time. We will see something big happening there. Turkey will reclaim the rights that have been stolen from it everywhere!"