The 1,500-year-old iconic cultural site Hagia Sophia museum is reconverted into Muslim worship mosque in Turkey’s Istanbul.
After a court order, Turkey president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared that the Hagia Sophia, a monument which is revered by both Christians and Muslims alike will be reconverted into a mosque which will be a worship place only for Muslims from now.
Recep made the announcement on Friday, an hour later after the top court in turkey pronounced the judgement in Muslims favour after 16-yr long battle. The court also felt that the conversion of the building into a museum by the Turkey government was illegal. Further, the court stated that
It was concluded that the settlement deed allocated it as a mosque and its use outside this character is not possible legally,
The cabinet decision in 1934 that ended its use as a mosque and defined it as a museum did not comply with laws,
Despite the international community’s opposing and warning, Recep has followed the instructions of the court and announced the reconversion of the museum building into a praying Mosque for Muslims. He further stated that
The decision was taken to hand over the management of the Ayasofya Mosque … to the Religious Affairs Directorate and open it for worship,
He also tweeted –
Hayırlı olsun. pic.twitter.com/MzP6nzn9Jc
— Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (@RTErdogan) July 10, 2020
However, earlier Erdogan rejected international criticism over the Hagia Sophia issue and stated that the interference is an attack on Turkey’s sovereignty.
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After Erdogan’s announcement, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has reacted sharply. It said that the Hagia Sophia monument’s status will be reviewed and
regrettable that the Turkish decision was not the subject of dialog nor notification beforehand,
Also, United Nation’s cultural body said in a statement.
UNESCO calls on the Turkish authorities to open a dialog without delay in order to avoid a step back from the universal value of this exceptional heritage whose preservation will be reviewed by the World Heritage Committee in its next session,
The United States, Russia and Greece have also expressed concerns ahead of the ruling. the Russian Orthodox Church on Friday said the decision could lead to even greater divisions.
History of Hagia Sophia
This is the property of the Ottoman leader who captured the Istanbul city in the year 1453 and turned the 900-year-old Byzantine church into a mosque.
In the year 1935, in the early days of the modern secular Turkish state under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, it became a museum that revered by Christians and Muslims alike.