Discovering North Cyprus 8/05/2017, the Selimiye Mosque

By Engin Dervişağa…….

By popular demand, I am delighted together with my colleague Qossay Eleyan to bring you a repeat of an interesting report on “Discovering North Cyprus” about the Selimiye Mosque, historically known as Cathedral of Saint Sophia, which is a former Roman Catholic cathedral converted into a mosque and located within the ancient city wall of Lefkosa.

It is said that the construction of the cathedral began in 1209, when Thierry, the Archbishop of Cyprus, laid the foundations of the cathedral, however, there are claims of evidence indicating an earlier beginning date but by the end of the 13th century many additions had been made to the original structure.


With the arrival of the Ottomans in Cyprus,  they laid a 50 day siege to the city in 1570 and the cathedral provided refuge for a great number of people. When the city finally fell on 9th September 1570 the  cathedral was stormed by Ottoman soldiers who converted it into a mosque for a prayer session on the 15th September 1570, which was attended by their  commander Lala Mustafa Pasha and saw the official conversion of the cathedral into a mosque.

This show will be transmitted on BRT2 on Monday 8th May at 19.00pm and repeated on Sunday 14th May at 12.20pm 

To go direct to BRT2 TV to watch these shows by live streaming on your PC at Cyprus local time click here  and select the BRT2 channel in the viewing screen.

I also produce the Vox Pop TV show which features interviews with many people living in North Cyprus and this is screened on BRT2 on Sundays at 15.oopm and again on Tuesdays at 18.30pm If you wish you can also watch a number of my past Vox Pop shows which can be selected for viewing by clicking here

For Radio Lovers do also tune in and join me on BRT Radio on Saturday  at 19.00pm for my programme Top Twenty which is compiled by DJ Bora and this show is repeated on Sunday at 15.00pm. We are transmitting this on 6.150 MH/z. Short-wave, 87.8 and 105 FM Stereo.

You can also tune in to live streaming of this radio show on your PC by clicking here and select FM105 Bayrak International.

For those local readers who have interesting hobbies or interests who think it could make an interesting subject for my Vox Pop TV show, do please send me a message.

4 replies »

  1. I find it shocking and extremely disrespectful that Ayia Sophia has been converted to a mosque. How can you justify that action as just and holy and acceptable?

    • Soulla you seem not to have read the article or you will have noted that after the building was converted by the Ottomans, their first prayer session on the 15th September 1570, was attended by their commander Lala Mustafa Pasha which saw the official conversion of the cathedral into a mosque.

      Sadly you are protesting to the wrong people about acts in a different century ( 447 years ago), so let’s not have any more of these silly comments.

  2. Very lucky that the buildings left by the Venetians and Louziginians have been converted or used for praying, otherwise only their ruins would have remained by this time. Usage of historic buildings ensures renovation and upkeep by the users. I agree with you kyreniacommentator this article form is not a form for political grandstanding. I could only site the mosques in Lesbos island and Crete where they have been knocked down or left to the elements and vandals to destroy because they are not used or respected !!! Similarly, castells built by Ottomans have suffered the same predicament in Greece. One could say that there is a political decision to wipe off everything and anything Ottoman in Greece and Greek islands. Whereas we are proud that Gothic buildings and Churches have been maintained and used for the same purpose since Ottoman times around Cyprus and Turkey.