The United Nations, New York (Reuters) — As a gesture of good will, Islam has agreed to return the city that Muslims call Istanbul to the Christians, if the Christians will agree to return the city they called Constantinople to the Byzantines, who founded the city they called Byzantium in about 657 BC.
“Constantinople became the capital of the Byzantine Empire in 330 AD and remained under Christian rule for the next 1,100 years until Sultan Mehmed II conquered it in 1453,” said a statement from the spokesperson of Turkey’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Hami Aksoy.
“President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan would like to apologize for Islam in general, and for all the Ottoman Sultans in particular, and will return the city to the Christians as a gesture of peace and good will,” said the statement.
“Islam didn’t even exist when Constantinople was founded, so apologizing for Muslim warmongering and returning the city is definitely a major step toward world peace,” said an expert who declined to be identified.
Some experts noted that Mr. Aksoy’s statement did not address the Islamic assumption that all “land conquered and settled” is forever “part of an inalienable Islamic patrimony” and must eventually be returned to Muslim rule. But other experts said it is not inconceivable that this “new Islam” could return to the borders that were in place when the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) died in 632 AD.
Mr. Aksoy said his office is currently searching for descendants of the founders of Byzantium, but that DNA testing could take several years.