close
Sunday May 19, 2024

Erdogan confirms ancient Istanbul Orthodox church converted to mosque

“The Kariye mosque in its new form will remain open to everyone,” he said

By AFP
May 14, 2024
A visitor walks inside the ancient Orthodox church now converted as the Kariye Mosque in Istanbul. — AFP/File
A visitor walks inside the ancient Orthodox church now converted as the Kariye Mosque in Istanbul. — AFP/File

ANKARA: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday confirmed the reopening for Muslim worship of a mosque in Istanbul converted from an ancient Byzantine Orthodox church.

“The Kariye mosque in its new form will remain open to everyone,” he said, addressing a press conference with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

Greece’s premier, who had appealed against the conversion of the Holy Saviour in Chora, decorated with 14th-century frescoes of the Last Judgement that are still treasured by Christians.The church was converted into Kariye Mosque half a century after the 1453 conquest of Constantinople by the Ottoman Turks.

It became the Kariye Museum after World War II, when Turkey sought to create a more secular republic from the ashes of the Ottoman Empire.Mitsotakis expressed his dissatisfaction to Erdogan on Monday in Ankara.“I discussed with Mr. Erdogan the conversion... I expressed my dissatisfaction to him,” the Greek premier said after meeting with the Turkish leader.