Turkey: Conversion of Hagia Sophia into mosque in July-media

'Polls in favor, Erdogan to give green light'

17 June, 13:15

    (ANSAmed) - ISTANBUL, JUNE 17 - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan could convert Hagia Sophia into a mosque on July 15, during a commemoration of the anniversary of the failed coup in 2016 in Turkey, according to local news reports. The plan was reportedly presented to the Turkish president at a meeting on Monday of the central committee of his AKP party during which he was told about the positive outcome of surveys on the initiative which would reportedly be popular also among nationalist voters backing the opposition.

    A landmark of Istanbul, for nearly a millennium a Christian basilica before it became a mosque with the Ottoman conquest in 1453 and then transformed into a museum by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in 1935, Hagia Sophia has been for decades at the center of a controversy over its status.

    The hypothesis of turning it again into a place of worship has gained momentum in Turkey after Erdogan on May 29, the anniversary of the Ottoman takeover of Constantinople, decided that the Sura on the conquest could be recited inside the building, sparking strong international protests, in particular from Greece.

    The Council of State is expected to rule on the matter on July 2 although some reports have alleged that the mosque could be converted even if the vote doesn't back the move.(ANSAmed).

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