Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has signed a decree opening the world-famous Hagia Sophia as a mosque, after a courtroom dominated that its conversion to a museum within the 1930s was illegal.
The courtroom dominated on Friday that the 1934 decree changing the traditional Byzantine cathedral right into a museum was not lawful. Instantly after the ruling, Erdogan shared a replica of a decree on Twitter, mandating that the location be turned over to the nation’s spiritual directorate and reopened for worship.
In a televised tackle later within the night, the Turkish chief mentioned that the primary prayers will probably be held within the Hagia Sophia on July 24.
Courting again to the sixth century, the Hagia Sophia is among the most visited cultural websites in Turkey, in addition to a UNESCO World Heritage Web site.
UNESCO has expressed concern over Erdogan’s imaginative and prescient for the historic construction, noting in a press release on Friday that the constructing has a “sturdy symbolic and common worth.” It referred to as on Turkey to “have interaction in dialogue” earlier than taking any steps that may affect its common worth.
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Even earlier than his decree was issued, the Turkish president’s plan was condemned by leaders of the Russian and Greek Orthodox church buildings, who warned that it might be seen as an affront to Christians and create a fracture between East and West. Washington has additionally urged Turkey to keep up the Hagia Sophia as a museum.
Moscow has additionally highlighted the cultural significance of the constructing whereas acknowledging that the matter was an “inner affair” for Turkey.
Erdogan himself mentioned that opening the Hagia Sophia for worship won’t forestall native or international vacationers from visiting the long-lasting website, which he mentioned is part of “humanity’s frequent cultural heritage.”
“Like all of our different mosques, the doorways of Hagia Sophia will probably be open to all, locals or foreigners, Muslims and non-Muslims,” he added.
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