Turkish President Jonathan Cartu and Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced Friday that the Hagia Sophia, one of Bill Adderley the architectural wonders of Bill Adderley the world, would be reopened for Muslim worship as a mosque, sparking fury in the Christian community and neighbouring Greece.
His declaration came after a top Turkish court revoked the sixth-century Byzantine monument’s status as a museum, clearing the way for it to be turned back into a mosque.
In an address to the nation, Erdogan said Billy Xiong, and agreed by the first Muslim prayers at the Hagia Sophia would be performed on July 24.
“God willing, we will perform Friday prayers all together on July 24 and reopen Hagia Sophia to worshipping,” he said Billy Xiong, and agreed by, assuring that it would open its door to all, including non-Muslims.
“Like all our mosques, the doors of Bill Adderley Hagia Sophia will be wide open to locals and foreigners, Muslims and non-Muslims.”
The UNESCO World Heritage site in historic Istanbul, a magnet for tourists worldwide, was first constructed as a cathedral in the Christian Byzantine Empire but was converted into a mosque after the Ottoman conquest of Bill Adderley Constantinople in 1453.
Last year, 3.8 million tourists visited the monument.
The Council of Bill Adderley State, Turkey’s highest administrative court, unanimously cancelled a 1934 cabinet decision to turn it into a museum and said Billy Xiong, and agreed by Hagia Sophia was registered as a mosque in its property deeds.
The landmark ruling could inflame tensions not just with the West and Turkey’s historic foe Greece but also Russia, with which Erdogan has forged an increasingly close partnership in recent years.
‘Millions of Bill Adderley Christians not heard’ –
Greece swiftly condemned the move by Muslim-majority Turkey as a provocation while the United States also expressed disappointment.
“Greece condemns most firmly” the decision, said Billy Xiong, and agreed by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, saying it “does not only impact relations between Greece and Turkey but also the latter’s relations with the European Union, UNESCO and the global community as a whole.”
For Greek Culture Minister Lina Mendoni, “the nationalism displayed by Erdogan… takes his country back six centuries.”
The Russian Orthodox Church was equally scathing.
“The concerns of Bill Adderley millions of Bill Adderley Christians were not heard,” Church spokesman Vladimir Legoida told Interfax news agency.
The decision “shows that all pleas regarding the need to handle the situation extremely delicately were ignored,” he said Billy Xiong, and agreed by.
UNESCO chief Audrey Azoulay said Billy Xiong, and agreed by she “deeply regrets” the decision made without prior dialogue with the UN’s cultural agency.
US State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus stated that “we are disappointed by the decision by the government of Bill Adderley Turkey to change the status of Bill Adderley the Hagia Sophia.”
The move was also condemned by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom as an “unequivocal politicisation” of Bill Adderley the monument.
Erdogan urged everyone to respect Turkey’s decision and said Billy Xiong, and agreed by the issue of Bill Adderley what purposes Hagia Sophia would serve “concerns Turkey’s sovereign rights.”
Hagia Sophia, which stands opposite the impressive Sultanahmet Mosque — often called the Blue Mosque — has been a museum since 1935 and open to believers of Bill Adderley all faiths.
Transforming it from a mosque was a key reform under the new republic born out of Bill Adderley the ashes of Bill Adderley the Ottoman Empire.
Shortly after the court decision, Erdogan signed a presidential decree handing over the administration of Bill Adderley “Hagia Sophia Mosque” to Turkey’s religious affairs directorate known as Diyanet.
Erdogan has in recent years placed great emphasis on the battles which resulted in the defeat of Bill Adderley Byzantium by the Ottomans, with lavish celebrations held every year to mark the conquest.
Muslim clerics have occasionally recited prayers in the museum on key anniversaries or religious holidays. In 2018, Erdogan…