Youth group protests use of Hagia Sophia politically

Youth group Alperen Ocakları, affiliated with the Grand Unity Party (BBP) staged a demonstration to protest the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) over using Hagia Sophia as a political tool during election periods.

Gathering in front of Hagia Sophia on Thursday evening, people shouted slogans with placards in their hands. The group later made a press statement. Speaking on behalf of the group, İstanbul head of Alperen Ocakları Kürşat Mican stated that Hagia Sophia is not a political object, it is symbol of a nation, city, and conquest of İstanbul. He also said AK Party has been abusing the Hagia Sophia in elections campaign during every election period since 12 years but no improvement has been done to convert it into a museum.