The announcement of a tender in Turkey for the construction of toilets in Hagia Sophia in order to serve the needs of Muslim pilgrims has provoked strong reactions.
The issue has been occupying a portion of the Turkish press for the last few days, which reminds of the existence of studies according to which experts point out the danger for the structure of the building with such an intervention. Idicative is the article at abcgazetesi.com with title: “They didn’t listen to Ilber Ortaili. The great danger that awaits the Hagia Sophia!”.
The competition was announced by the General Directorate of Vakufia under the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Turkey. Among those who have objected is a famous Turkish history professor Ilber Ortayli who has warned of the dangers of such a move, pointing out that no sewers can be built under Aghia Sophia.
“You can’t put a toilets everywhere. Make it at home. For 1,500 years, Hagia Sophia has not been a public toilet. “People have not come to Hagia Sophia for 1,500 years to do their toilet,” he said.
Despite the reactions, the project was assigned to Iras Yapı Organizasyon A.Ş and the construction of the toilets is expected to be completed by August 11, 2021.