Istanbul’s iconic Hagia Sophia will be converted from a world-famous museum back into a mosque, a Turkish court ruled Friday.
“This court decision has made what we all know and experience in reality very clear, that today’s Turkey is not secular,” said one opponent.
That was just a formality. No Turkish judge can refuse to rubber-stamp Erdogan’s allures.
A court ruled Friday that Istanbul’s iconic Hagia Sophia can be converted from a world-famous museum back into a mosque, in a big victory for the Islamic conservatism of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Turkey’s top administrative court, the Council of State, said that a 1934 decision to convert what was then a mosque into the museum was unlawful, according to Reuters, paving the way for its restoration as an Islamic place of worship despite international concerns.
“The cabinet decision in 1934 that ended its use as a mosque and defined it as a museum did not comply with laws,” the Council of State said, the news agency reported.
The president had proposed restoring the UNESCO World Heritage site into a mosque, placing the almost 1,500-year-old building at the center of a struggle between those who want to preserve Turkey’s secular roots and the president’s aspirations.
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