A Turkish court has allowed former Orthodox St. Sophia Cathedral in Istanbul, which is now a Museum to become a mosque. This decision was taken today, informs television channel CNN Turk.
The building, which now houses the Museum of St. Sophia (Hagia Sophia) was built in the YI century. It belongs to the UNESCO world heritage. At first it was a Christian Cathedral after the conquest of the Ottoman Empire it became a mosque and in 1935 by decree of the founder of the modern Turkish state Kemal Ataturk it was turned into a Museum.
More than a thousand years Saint Sophia Cathedral in Constantinople remained the largest Church in the Christian world.
In 2019 President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has offered to make Hagia Sophia a mosque. Thus, tourists can visit the Cathedral for free, said the Turkish President.
UNESCO urged Turkey not to change the status of a Museum without discussion. Religious and political leaders from around the world also criticized the proposal.
On June 11 Minister of foreign Affairs of Turkey Mevlut Cavusoglu saidthat the debate around the transformation of Istanbul’s Cathedral into a mosque is not a question of international relations.