Fri 10 Jul 2020
Clock 17:11, Damascus
Wikimedia Commons: Arild Vågen

Erdogan Wants To Turn Hagia Sophia Into Mosque Despite UNESCO Protest

الساعة 17:02 بتوقيت دمشق

The Supreme Administrative Court in Turkey canceled the status of the world-famous Hagia Sophia building in Istanbul as a museum, paving the way for the former church to be used as a mosque. The state news agency Anadolu reports.

The move is not without protest, as UNESCO has warned the Turkish-President of turning the Byzantine church into a mosque.

The building in Istanbul is marked as a world-heritage site which comes with a series of legal obligations. 

The cultural organization of the UN has asked for dialogue with the Turkish-regime before any decisions are made.

The Hagia Sophia was first built as a basilica in the sixth century, after the conquest of Constantinople by the Ottomans in 1453, the church was then converted into a mosque. After the Turkish Republic was founded, it became a museum in 1935.

Erdogan, however, seems to be set on course after calling the conversion of the church into a museum a "big mistake".

Source / France24, BBC, UNESCO