close
Advertisement
Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!
 
July 3, 2020

Turkish court weighs bid to turn Hagia Sophia into a mosque

World

 
July 3, 2020

ANKARA: A Turkish court heard a case aimed at converting the Hagia Sophia museum in Istanbul back into a mosque and will announce its verdict within 15 days, a lawyer said, on an issue which has drawn international expressions of concern.

President Tayyip Erdogan has proposed restoring the mosque status of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, a building at the heart of both the Christian Byzantine and Muslim Ottoman empires and today one of Turkey’s most visited monuments. The court case disputes the legality of a decision in 1934, in the early days of the modern secular Turkish state under Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, to convert the huge sixth-century building - known in Turkish as Ayasofya - from a mosque into a museum. “We think they (the court) will see that Ayasofya being a museum for 86 years has hurt and saddened the Turkish people,” Selami Karaman, lawyer for the association which brought the case, told reporters after the short hearing. “This mosque... is the personal property of Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror,” he said, referring to the Ottoman leader who captured the city, then known as Constantinople, in 1453 and turned the already 900-year-old Byzantine church into a mosque.