Turkey’s iconic Hagia Sofia stripped of it’s museum status, turns into a mosque, Istanbul


Turkey’s iconic Hagia Sofia stripped of it’s museum status, turns into a mosque

The world has known Hagia Sofia in Turkey’s capital city Istanbul as an iconic museum but not anymore as it has been stripped of it’s museum status and has turned into a mosque. The announcement was made on Friday by the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that the Hagia Sophia would be reopened as a mosque.

Hagia Sofia, one of the architectural wonders of the world, was originally built as the cathedral back in the sixth century. But in 1453, with the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople, it was turned into a mosque and from that time till the early 20th century, it remained a house of worship for the followers of Islam.

Again in the year 1934, the government of Turkey secularized the building and transformed it into a museum. Later, UNESCO recognised Hagia Sophia as part of its Historic Areas of Istanbul and labeled it a World Heritage Site.

The museum had been the biggest tourist attraction in the country and tourists from across the globe would come here to admire the gorgeous structure. But on Friday, Turkey’s highest administrative court unanimously cancelled the decision that was taken decades ago of turning the place into a museum. The Council of State decided to transform Hagia Sophia into a mosque again.

According to a spokesperson for Erdogan, visitors will still be welcome to visit Hagia Sophia. “Opening up Hagia Sophia to worship won’t keep local or foreign tourists from visiting the site,” he said to a local news agency.

However, the decision is still unclear and it doesn’t mean that Hagia Sofia will shut down to visitors from all over immediately to become a full-time mosque.

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