Turkey Venerates Its Violent Conquest of Christian Territory with Conversion of Hagia Sophia to a Mosque

  
Via:  make-america-great-again  •  2 months ago  •  47 comments

Turkey Venerates Its Violent Conquest of Christian Territory with Conversion of Hagia Sophia to a Mosque
To quote Salih Turhan, head of the Anatolian Youth Association, a group that annually organizes mass demonstrations around Hagia Sophia: “As the grandchildren of Mehmet the Conqueror, seeking the re-opening Hagia Sophia as a mosque is our legitimate right.”

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


It’s official: Turkey plans on converting the Hagia Sophia museum—for centuries, one of Christendom’s grandest basilicas—into a mosque.

Although President Erdoğan often tells Western/secular media that his decision is a sort of tit for tat—now a response to Israel’s treatment of Jerusalem’s Al Aqsa mosque, now a response to European resistance to more Muslim migrants—the true significance behind his desire to transform Hagia Sophia came out in March 31, 2019.

After reporting that “Turkey's president has recited an Islamic prayer in the Hagia Sophia, a historic Istanbul landmark that has become a symbol of interfaith and diplomatic tensions,” AP added that Erdoğan also dedicated his prayer to the “souls of all who left us this work as inheritance, especially Istanbul's conqueror.”

He is not alone in his desire to turn Hagia Sophia into a mosque as a way of venerating its jihadi conquerors; more than 97 percent of Turks surveyed said they want to see Hagia Sophia turned into a mosque, not because there is a dearth of places to pray—as of 2010, there were 3,000 active mosques in Istanbul alone—but to revel in the glory (that is, gory) days of jihad, and honor its practitioners.

To quote Salih Turhan, head of the Anatolian Youth Association, a group that annually organizes mass demonstrations around Hagia Sophia: “As the grandchildren of Mehmet the Conqueror, seeking the re-opening Hagia Sophia as a mosque is our legitimate right.”

In what follows, we revisit exactly what Mehmet (the Turkish pronunciation of “Muhammad”) did to prompt so many modern Turks, including their president, to honor him, including by transforming Hagia Sophia into a mosque. (All quotes in the following narrative are from primary sources, mostly eyewitnesses, and are documented in my recent book, Sword and Scimitar: Fourteen Centuries of War between Islam and the West).

Hagia Sophia—Greek for “Holy Wisdom”—was built around 537 AD in Constantinople, the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire, which for nearly a millennium was a stalwart symbol of defiance against an ever encroaching Islam from the east.

After parrying centuries of jihadi thrusts, Mehmet sacked Constantinople on May 29, 1453, and turned Hagia Sophia into a mosque (until a then secularizing Turkey turned it into a museum in 1935).

Once inside the city, “The enraged Turkish soldiers . . . gave no quarter,” wrote an eyewitness:

When they had massacred and there was no longer any resistance, they were intent on pillage and roamed through the town stealing, disrobing, pillaging, killing, raping, taking captive men, women, children, old men, young men, monks, priests, people of all sorts and conditions…  There were virgins who awoke from troubled sleep to find those brigands standing over them with bloody hands and faces full of abject fury…  [The Turkish jihadis] dragged them, tore them, forced them, dishonored them, raped them at the cross-roads and made them submit to the most terrible outrages… Tender children were brutally snatched from their mothers’ breasts and girls were pitilessly given up to strange and horrible unions, and a thousand other terrible things happened. . .

Because thousands of citizens had fled to and were holed up in Hagia Sophia, it offered an excellent harvest of slaves once its doors were axed down.

“One Turk would look for the captive who seemed the wealthiest, a second would prefer a pretty face among the nuns. . . . Each rapacious Turk was eager to lead his captive to a safe place, and then return to secure a second and a third prize. . . . Then long chains of captives could be seen leaving the church and its shrines, being herded along like cattle or flocks of sheep.”

The slavers sometimes fought each other to the death over “any well-formed girl,” even as many of the latter “preferred to cast themselves into the wells and drown rather than fall into the hands of the Turks.”

Having taken possession of one of Christendom’s greatest and oldest basilicas—nearly a thousand years old at the time of its capture—the invaders “engaged in every kind of vileness within it, making of it a public brothel.” On “its holy altars” they enacted “perversions with our women, virgins, and children,” including “the Grand Duke’s daughter who was quite beautiful.” She was forced to “lie on the great altar of Hagia Sophia with a crucifix under her head and then raped.”

Next “they paraded the [Hagia Sophia’s main] Crucifix in mocking procession through their camp, beating drums before it, crucifying the Christ again with spitting and blasphemies and curses. They placed a Turkish cap . . . upon His head, and jeeringly cried, ‘Behold the god of the Christians!’” They “gouged the eyes from the [embalmed] saints” and dumped their corpses “in the middle of the streets for swine and dogs to trample on . . . and the images of our Lord Jesus Christ and His Saints were burned or hacked to pieces.”

Many other churches in the ancient city suffered the same fate. “The crosses which had been placed on the roofs or the walls of churches were torn down and trampled.” The Eucharist was hurled to the ground; holy icons were stripped of gold, “thrown to the ground and kicked.” Bibles were stripped of their gold or silver illuminations before being burned. “Icons were without exception given to the flames.” Patriarchal vestments were placed on the haunches of dogs; priestly garments were placed on horses.

“Everywhere there was misfortune, everyone was touched by pain” when Sultan Mehmet finally made his grand entry into the city. “There were lamentations and weeping in every house, screaming in the crossroads, and sorrow in all churches; the groaning of grown men and the shrieking of women accompanied looting, enslavement, separation, and rape.”

The sultan rode to Hagia Sophia, dismounted, and went in, “marveling at the sight” of the grand basilica. Like other churches that came under Muslim control—such as John the Baptist’s basilica, now the Great Mosque of Damascus—Hagia Sophia’s lot was not destruction but transformation into a mosque. After having it cleansed of its crosses, statues, and icons—the sultan himself knocked over and trampled on its altar—Mehmet ordered a muezzin to ascend the pulpit and sound “their detestable prayers. Then this son of iniquity [the sultan], this forerunner of Antichrist, mounted upon the Holy Table to utter forth his own prayers,” thereby “turning the Great Church into a heathen shrine for his god and his Mahomet.”

This, then, is what Turkey’s Muslims and president are proud of: the violent conquest of ancient Christian territory, and the atrocity-laden transformation of its greatest cathedral into a mosque; this is what they are eager to honor by turning Hagia Sophia into a mosque again. For make no mistake: if the average Westerner is clueless concerning the history of Hagia Sophia, every Turk is taught it in youth.

Openly idolizing Mehmet and doing what he did in his honor—retransforming Hagia Sophia into a mosque—as Erdoğan has decreed to the joy of many Turks, is tantamount to their saying, “We are proud of our ancestors who slaughtered, beheaded, enslaved and raped people and stole their lands simply because they were Christian infidels.”

Note: For more details on the siege and subsequent rape of Constantinople, see Chapter 7 of Sword and Scimitar.

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XXJefferson#51
1  seeder  XXJefferson#51    2 months ago

“Having taken possession of one of Christendom’s greatest and oldest basilicas—nearly a thousand years old at the time of its capture—the invaders “engaged in every kind of vileness within it, making of it a public brothel.” On “its holy altars” they enacted “perversions with our women, virgins, and children,” including “the Grand Duke’s daughter who was quite beautiful.” She was forced to “lie on the great altar of Hagia Sophia with a crucifix under her head and then raped.”

Next “they paraded the [Hagia Sophia’s main] Crucifix in mocking procession through their camp, beating drums before it, crucifying the Christ again with spitting and blasphemies and curses. They placed a Turkish cap . . . upon His head, and jeeringly cried, ‘Behold the god of the Christians!’” They “gouged the eyes from the [embalmed] saints” and dumped their corpses “in the middle of the streets for swine and dogs to trample on . . . and the images of our Lord Jesus Christ and His Saints were burned or hacked to pieces.””

 
 
 
JBB
2  JBB    2 months ago

Wow! Talk about your olde news. The Hagia Sophia became a mosque in 1453...

 
 
 
epistte
2.1  epistte  replied to  JBB @2    2 months ago
Wow! Talk about your olde news. The Hagia Sophia became a mosque in 1453...

I was just going to mention that fact. The Hagia Sophia hasn't been a Christian church since the fall of the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire.

Most historians do agree that the Byzantine Empire terminated on Tuesday 29 May 1453 CE, when the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II (r.1444-6 & 1451-81 CE) conquered Constantinople.
 
 
 
XXJefferson#51
2.2  seeder  XXJefferson#51  replied to  JBB @2    2 months ago

Since 1935 when Turkey was a secular democracy it has been a museum. The current news is the plan to return it to be a mosque again and the effort and motivations behind it and a documentation of the historical record.  

 
 
 
Gordy327
2.2.1  Gordy327  replied to  XXJefferson#51 @2.2    2 months ago

So?

 
 
 
epistte
2.2.2  epistte  replied to  Gordy327 @2.2.1    2 months ago
So?

Maybe he is trying to make Istanbul great again, by turning the sundial back 1000 years.

 
 
 
XXJefferson#51
2.2.3  seeder  XXJefferson#51  replied to  epistte @2.2.2    2 months ago

Islam will never recover its past “glory” without a complete reformation and renaissance of their own.  

 
 
 
epistte
2.2.4  epistte  replied to  XXJefferson#51 @2.2.3    2 months ago
Islam will never recover its past “glory” without a complete reformation and renaissance of their own.  

You missed the point I was trying to make. It seems that you want to turn Turkey back into a Christian stronghold. I'd rather religious belief, all of it, only be known in libraries and museums because people have moved on from believing myths to be true.    The sooner that happens the better off all of us will be because for the past 3000+ years men have been fighting over who their gods love the most and who their gods believe should be killed for not believing in them.   Theistic religion is socially acceptable organized insanity. 

 
 
 
pat wilson
2.2.5  pat wilson  replied to  epistte @2.2.4    2 months ago

I think the impetus for most war has been over land/power/resources. Religion has provided a righteous excuse for such vile behavior.

 
 
 
epistte
2.2.6  epistte  replied to  pat wilson @2.2.5    2 months ago
I think the impetus for most war has been over land/power/resources. Religion has provided a righteous excuse for such vile behavior.

Political power and religion go hand in hand, but if we can put an end to religious belief as a rational idea then maybe there will be a lot less bloodshed or the refusal of many people to do the bidding of those in power by fighting those wars 

 
 
 
pat wilson
2.2.7  pat wilson  replied to  epistte @2.2.6    2 months ago

I agree but I think you're dreaming. smile

 
 
 
XXJefferson#51
2.2.8  seeder  XXJefferson#51  replied to  epistte @2.2.4    2 months ago

There will never ever be a point in time on earth when what you describe/wish will happen.  Never. As to most of Turkey I don’t care much though I’d like to see the small European part of that country back for Christianity.  

 
 
 
Freefaller
2.2.9  Freefaller  replied to  XXJefferson#51 @2.2.8    2 months ago
There will never ever be a point in time on earth when what you describe/wish will happen.  Never.

Incorrect as it's a fact that the earth will long outlive humanity crawling around on it, although like epistte I do hope that religion will go the way of the Dodo long before our departure 

 
 
 
XXJefferson#51
2.2.10  seeder  XXJefferson#51  replied to  Freefaller @2.2.9    2 months ago

Humans will forever live on planet earth minus a thousand years in the near future.  Eternity/forever will be a very long time.  

 
 
 
Freefaller
2.2.11  Freefaller  replied to  XXJefferson#51 @2.2.10    2 months ago
Humans will forever live on planet earth

Lol well then I must have been fooled by one of those pseudo astronomy science studies which clearly stated that due to increasing solar luminosity (which has already been occurring since the sun's birth roughly 4.6 billion yrs ago) will make our planet uninhabitable (no water, no oxygen, just a big ball of dirt) in another 1 1/2 billion years.  Meh science, when has that ever had facts.

Anyway thanks for starting my day off with a laugh. Cya

 
 
 
TᵢG
3  TᵢG    2 months ago

I have been to the Hagia Sophia.   It looks like a mosque that has been converted into a museum (which is what happened).   Converting it from museum back to mosque is not much of a change.

Check out this video starting at 2:30.   This is not my video, but it shows what I saw.

 
 
 
Ender
3.1  Ender  replied to  TᵢG @3    2 months ago

I don't know. I saw several Christian images. One starting at 2:51

 
 
 
TᵢG
3.1.1  TᵢG  replied to  Ender @3.1    2 months ago

Yes, a lot of original Christian artwork is in the Hagia Sophia.   Also. a lot of the artwork is painted over (partially or fully).   And externally, the structure is adorned with minarets.  My point was that the Hagia Sophia was a mosque that was converted into a museum and the Islamic modifications to make it a mosque are quite visible.

Going back to a mosque will be easy.

 
 
 
XXJefferson#51
3.1.2  seeder  XXJefferson#51  replied to  TᵢG @3.1.1    2 months ago

But it shouldn’t be done.  It should remain a museum.  

 
 
 
TᵢG
3.1.3  TᵢG  replied to  XXJefferson#51 @3.1.2    2 months ago

I would prefer it stay a museum too rather than waste it on yet another mosque.  Further, it is a UNESCO World Heritage site.  But Turkey is a sovereign nation who owns Hagia Sophia.

 
 
 
Gordy327
3.1.4  Gordy327  replied to  XXJefferson#51 @3.1.2    2 months ago

Bring it up with Turkey then. They own it.

 
 
 
luther28
3.1.5  luther28  replied to  Gordy327 @3.1.4    2 months ago

I like the simple answers Gordy :)

 
 
 
Gordy327
3.1.6  Gordy327  replied to  luther28 @3.1.5    2 months ago

Sometimes, simple is better

 
 
 
XXJefferson#51
3.1.7  seeder  XXJefferson#51  replied to  Gordy327 @3.1.4    2 months ago

That likely was the point of whoever wrote the seeded article. That and educating the west again as to the graphic circumstances of the fall of Constantinople to the Turks.  

 
 
 
Gordy327
3.1.8  Gordy327  replied to  XXJefferson#51 @3.1.7    2 months ago

Meanwhile, the world keeps turning.

 
 
 
epistte
3.1.9  epistte  replied to  XXJefferson#51 @3.1.7    2 months ago
That likely was the point of whoever wrote the seeded article. That and educating the west again as to the graphic circumstances of the fall of Constantinople to the Turks.  

The fall of Turkey back into the hands of religious fundamentalists instead if being ruled by a secular government that understands that keeping all religion and political power absolutely separate is the only way to create a stable and rational government for all people and not just those in power. 

 
 
 
XXJefferson#51
3.1.10  seeder  XXJefferson#51  replied to  Gordy327 @3.1.8    2 months ago

and if the roles were reversed and a Christian army captured a major Muslim capital city in that manner as graphically described in the seed atheists who hate Christianity and have a soft spot for Muslims would be for ever throwing it in our faces.  But since Islam did it to Christianity its “let’s move on, nothing to see here” instead.  

 
 
 
TᵢG
3.1.11  TᵢG  replied to  XXJefferson#51 @3.1.10    2 months ago

For me, I would prefer that any historical temple, cathedral, church, synagogue or mosque that has evolved into a museum remain a museum.   

Also, if a sovereign nation owns an historical building I recognize their right to do with it as they please.   Even if I disagree with their actions.

For me, all religions (systems of faith) have the same fundamental problem for society — they encourage people to suppress critical thinking and follow the doctrine of the religion.

Now, I have different pros and cons depending upon the religion / denomination / sect.   I will share one very key difference that I see between the category of religions known as Christianity and those known as Islam.   The former has evolved over time and generally (not completely) represents contemporary mores and values.   The latter generally has not.   The former, for example, is far less repressive of women, is far less intrusive into the daily lives of people and has almost no facets executing apostates, mutilating female genitals to ensure fidelity and does not serve as the underlying doctrine which, when radicalized, represents the vast majority of brutal terrorism taking place today.

 
 
 
Gordy327
3.1.12  Gordy327  replied to  XXJefferson#51 @3.1.10    2 months ago

Your persecution complex is showing again. Perhaps you should seek professional help with that.

 
 
 
epistte
3.1.13  epistte  replied to  XXJefferson#51 @3.1.10    2 months ago
and if the roles were reversed and a Christian army captured a major Muslim capital city in that manner as graphically described in the seed atheists who hate Christianity and have a soft spot for Muslims would be for ever throwing it in our faces.  But since Islam did it to Christianity its “let’s move on, nothing to see here” instead.  

Wouldn't it be better to have a secular government with equal religious freedoms for all instead of a Christian government of which there is only a small minority?   Do you think that one religious group should have more political power or more civil rights than other religions/beliefs? 

Christianity in Turkey has had a long history dating back to the 1st-century AD. In modern times the percentage of Christians in Turkey has declined from 20-25 percent in 1914 to 3-5.5 percent in 1927, to 0.3-0.4% today

 
 
 
Gordy327
3.1.14  Gordy327  replied to  epistte @3.1.13    2 months ago
Wouldn't it be better to have a secular government with equal religious freedoms for all

Just like America. Absolutely it would be better.

 
 
 
XXJefferson#51
3.1.15  seeder  XXJefferson#51  replied to  Gordy327 @3.1.12    2 months ago

I don’t need any professional help for any issue you suggest.  

 
 
 
XXJefferson#51
3.1.16  seeder  XXJefferson#51  replied to  Gordy327 @3.1.14    2 months ago

Turkey had that before their current President came to power.  

 
 
 
epistte
3.1.17  epistte  replied to  XXJefferson#51 @3.1.16    2 months ago

Turkey was better for it because they have gone downhill under the control of Erdogan. 

 
 
 
Gordy327
3.1.18  Gordy327  replied to  XXJefferson#51 @3.1.15    2 months ago

Classic case of denial too.

 
 
 
epistte
4  epistte    2 months ago

The dome on the mosque/museum is dangerously unstable and could collapse with a very small earthquake. That possibility is likely because Istanbul sits on a moderately active fault line.

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/a-monumental-struggle-to-preserve-hagia-sophia-92038218/

 
 
 
Ender
4.1  Ender  replied to  epistte @4    2 months ago

That is sad but how could one make it stable without altering the structure.

 
 
 
epistte
4.1.1  epistte  replied to  Ender @4.1    2 months ago

That inability is a natural feature of stone buildings that have no ability to bend with stress.  They

collapse when lateral force is applied instead of being able to flex like steel or wood do.

 The dome was reinforced with iron but iron doesn't  have much flex either. It's being held together now but it won't tolerate much additional force before it collapses catastrophically. There was a NOVA episode about it.

 
 
 
Ender
5  Ender    2 months ago

So what if it is a mosque. As long as they keep it open to the public. Just like Notre Dame, one does not have to be Catholic to enjoy it.

 
 
 
XXJefferson#51
6  seeder  XXJefferson#51    2 months ago

It’s 1482 years old and likely survived some tremors before.  The Byzantine empire held off the Islamic hordes for some 700+ years until the west was ready to resist with the renaissance and reformation beginning and a lot of Roman and Greek records, art, libraries, history was taken west before the city fell and within a generation in the west the moors were driven out of Spain.  And for the record the crusades were a defensive action in response for pleas for help from Constantinople and tying up the Muslim armies in Israel, Lebanon, and Syria as they did likely extended the life of Byzantium until the west was strong enough to resist them on our own. 

 
 
 
Split Personality
6.1  Split Personality  replied to  XXJefferson#51 @6    2 months ago

The crusaders had one goal in 1096: to capture the Holy Sepulcher, the tomb of Christ, in Jerusalem. Christianity at this time was less about ideas and more about things—places, objects and bones. The highest devotional practice was the pilgrimage, a journey to a holy site, to pray before the body of a saint. The model saint whom all others imitated was Christ, and His tomb was the most sacred one imaginable even though, unlike other saints’ shrines, Christ’s was empty.

The First Crusade, then, was not about turning back centuries of Muslim expansion. It was about seizing control of sacred landscapes. It was, in modern parlance, “a war of choice” or “an act of aggression.” On July 15, 1099, this willfully chosen campaign ended victoriously when the crusaders conquered Jerusalem.

Later crusades, arguably, were defensive, in that they sought to preserve or restore the fruits of this victory. But their defensive goals served to reaffirm that earlier act of aggression.

Many crusaders would add one proviso to this argument. While not a defensive war, it was a war of vengeance. The Christians were out to avenge the sufferings of their Savior, the humiliations He was forced to endure every day as unbelieving pagans soiled the places that He had made sacred through his touch. Indeed, one of the earliest poets to celebrate the crusade began his story imagining Christ on the Cross, comforting “the good thief,” telling him that one day, 1000 years in the future, an army of people called the Franks would avenge the cruel deaths that they were suffering.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/myths-about-crusade-myths_b_1031722?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly9zZWFyY2gueWFob28uY29tLw&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAAPdGibsGxaIBKtGI9s9gMVzIF0uxCK46I6IuOvysX9i67_UmURnbpMYx5IZ8bJm4cddg-ap1LwgK-ejrr9oyujQ1zZ8yd4NZhch8kRYCMeichCaER8KZ4Rr3kRHuLkH8kMWoCHm24TdVKHDw9vv1-CFnBB3CZ4kV8s_ctOeN7WV

Once Jerusalem was captured, future Crusades considered themselves as "defensive" and excused their atrocities in the name of religion.  Total failure. By 1291 there were no more excursions to the Holy Lands.  However other Crusades managed to spread French Catholic influence and spread Catholicism into the Baltics.

 
 
 
XXJefferson#51
6.1.1  seeder  XXJefferson#51  replied to  Split Personality @6.1    2 months ago

The crusades were in response to a plea for assistance from the Orthodox Church to the Catholic Church to try to preserve the lands where Christianity started from the Islamic hordes.

“But unanimity is not a guarantee of accuracy. What everyone “knows” about the crusades may not, in fact, be true. From the many popular notions about the crusades, let us pick four and see if they bear close examination.

MYTH #1: THE CRUSADES REPRESENTED AN UNPROVOKED ATTACK BY WESTERN CHRISTIANS ON THE MUSLIM WORLD.

Nothing could be further from the truth, and even a cursory chronological review makes that clear. In a.d. 632, Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Asia Minor, North Africa, Spain, France, Italy, and the islands of Sicily, Sardinia, and Corsica were all Christian territories. Inside the boundaries of the Roman Empire, which was still fully functional in the eastern Mediterranean, orthodox Christianity was the official, and overwhelmingly majority, religion. Outside those boundaries were other large Christian communities—not necessarily orthodox and Catholic, but still Christian. Most of the Christian population of Persia, for example, was Nestorian. Certainly there were many Christian communities in Arabia.

By a.d. 732, a century later, Christians had lost Egypt, Palestine, Syria, North Africa, Spain, most of Asia Minor, and southern France. Italy and her associated islands were under threat, and the islands would come under Muslim rule in the next century. The Christian communities of Arabia were entirely destroyed in or shortly after 633, when Jews and Christians alike were expelled from the peninsula.6 Those in Persia were under severe pressure. Two-thirds of the formerly Roman Christian world was now ruled by Muslims.

What had happened? Most people actually know the answer, if pressed—though for some reason they do not usually connect the answer with the crusades. The answer is the rise of Islam. Every one of the listed regions was taken, within the space of a hundred years, from Christian control by violence, in the course of military campaigns deliberately designed to expand Muslim territory at the expense of Islam’s neighbors. Nor did this conclude Islam’s program of conquest. The attacks continued, punctuated from time to time by Christian attempts to push back. Charlemagne blocked the Muslim advance in far western Europe in about a.d. 800, but Islamic forces simply shifted their focus and began to island-hop across from North Africa toward Italy and the French coast, attacking the Italian mainland by 837. A confused struggle for control of southern and central Italy continued for the rest of the ninth century and into the tenth. In the hundred years between 850 and 950, Benedictine monks were driven out of ancient monasteries, the Papal States were overrun, and Muslim pirate bases were established along the coast of northern Italy and southern France, from which attacks on the deep inland were launched. Desperate to protect victimized Christians, popes became involved in the tenth and early eleventh centuries in directing the defense of the territory around them.

The surviving central secular authority in the Christian world at this time was the East Roman, or Byzantine, Empire. Having lost so much territory in the seventh and eighth centuries to sudden amputation by the Muslims, the Byzantines took a long time to gain the strength to fight back. By the mid-ninth century, they mounted a counterattack on Egypt, the first time since 645 that they had dared to come so far south. Between the 940s and the 970s, the Byzantines made great progress in recovering lost territories. Emperor John Tzimiskes retook much of Syria and part of Palestine, getting as far as Nazareth, but his armies became overextended and he had to end his campaigns by 975 without managing to retake Jerusalem itself. Sharp Muslim counterattacks followed, and the Byzantines barely managed to retain Aleppo and Antioch.

The struggle continued unabated into the eleventh century. In 1009, a mentally deranged Muslim ruler destroyed the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem and mounted major persecutions of Christians and Jews. He was soon deposed, and by 1038 the Byzantines had negotiated the right to try to rebuild the structure, but other events were also making life difficult for Christians in the area, especially the displacement of Arab Muslim rulers by Seljuk Turks, who from 1055 on began to take control in the Middle East. This destabilized the territory and introduced new rulers (the Turks) who were not familiar even with the patchwork modus vivendi that had existed between most Arab Muslim rulers and their Christian subjects. Pilgrimages became increasingly difficult and dangerous, and western pilgrims began banding together and carrying weapons to protect themselves as they tried to make their way to Christianity’s holiest sites in Palestine: notable armed pilgrimages occurred in 1064–65 and 1087–91.

In the western and central Mediterranean, the balance of power was tipping toward the Christians and away from the Muslims. In 1034, the Pisans sacked a Muslim base in North Africa, finally extending their counterattacks across the Mediterranean. They also mounted counterattacks against Sicily in 1062–63. In 1087, a large-scale allied Italian force sacked Mahdia, in present-day Tunisia, in a campaign jointly sponsored by Pope Victor III and the countess of Tuscany. Clearly the Italian Christians were gaining the upper hand.

But while Christian power in the western and central Mediterranean was growing, it was in trouble in the east. The rise of the Muslim Turks had shifted the weight of military power against the Byzantines, who lost considerable ground again in the 1060s. Attempting to head off further incursions in far-eastern Asia Minor in 1071, the Byzantines suffered a devastating defeat at Turkish hands in the battle of Manzikert. As a result of the battle, the Christians lost control of almost all of Asia Minor, with its agricultural resources and military recruiting grounds, and a Muslim sultan set up a capital in Nicaea, site of the creation of the Nicene Creed in a.d. 325 and a scant 125 miles from Constantinople.

Desperate, the Byzantines sent appeals for help westward, directing these appeals primarily at the person they saw as the chief western authority: the pope, who, as we have seen, had already been directing Christian resistance to Muslim attacks. In the early 1070s, the pope was Gregory VII, and he immediately began plans to lead an expedition to the Byzantines’ aid. He became enmeshed in conflict with the German emperors, however (what historians call “the Investiture Controversy”), and was ultimately unable to offer meaningful help. Still, the Byzantines persisted in their appeals, and finally, in 1095, Pope Urban II realized Gregory VII’s desire, in what turned into the First Crusade. Whether a crusade was what either Urban or the Byzantines had in mind is a matter of some controversy. But the seamless progression of events which lead to that crusade is not.

Far from being unprovoked, then, the crusades actually represent the first great western Christian counterattack against Muslim attacks which had taken place continually from the inception of Islam until the eleventh century, and which continued on thereafter, mostly unabated.” https://isi.org/intercollegiate-review/four-myths-about-the-crusades/

 
 
 
Thrawn 31
6.2  Thrawn 31  replied to  XXJefferson#51 @6    2 months ago
until the west was ready to resist with the renaissance and reformation beginning and a lot of Roman and Greek records, art, libraries, history was taken west before the city fell and within a generation in the west the moors were driven out of Spain.  

You mean the time when people decided religion should start playing less of a role? 

 
 
 
XXJefferson#51
6.2.1  seeder  XXJefferson#51  replied to  Thrawn 31 @6.2    2 months ago

A different role separate from Rome.  It was timely that the Muslims/Ottoman Turks severely tested /threatened Rome during the years of the Protestant reformation pre occupying them so that they couldn’t try to militarily crush the newly Protestant nations from the beginning.  By the time of the Spanish Armada and the Hundred Years’ War Protestant denominations were well enough established to survive.  

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
7  Perrie Halpern R.A.    2 months ago

Not a fan of Turkey, but this is not an issue. What is, is that our government doesn't recognize the Armenian genocide, because it isn't convenient for us.

 
 
 
Freefaller
8  Freefaller    2 months ago

I am loathe to see that a museum is being turned into a religious building (I'd much rather that things went the opposite way), but that is what happens when religion gets a foothold in government and starts turning it away from secularism

 
 
 
Thrawn 31
9  Thrawn 31    2 months ago
Turkey Venerates Its Violent Conquest Of Christian Territory With Conversion Of Hagia Sophia To A Mosque

LOL!

 
 
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