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Turkey’s high administrative court docket revoked the museum standing of Istanbul’s iconic Hagia Sophia, in impact permitting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s authorities to take the controversial step of changing the Byzantine-era cathedral right into a mosque.

The court docket on Friday canceled a 1934 cupboard decree signed by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founding father of the secular republic, that had turned Hagia Sophia from a mosque right into a museum, state-run Anadolu Company reported. Erdogan in Could joined prayers on the Sixth-century constructing to mark the Ottoman military’s 1453 conquest of Constantinople, now Istanbul, as a part of his lengthy push to reverse that course of.

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Turkey Rebuffs U.S. Intervention on Making Hagia Sophia a Mosque

Erdogan has rebuffed criticism from the U.S. and neighboring Greece, which urged Turkey to keep up the location’s museum standing. Hagia Sophia — included on UNESCO’s World Heritage Checklist — carries a particular significance for Greeks, who see it as some of the vital Christian monuments and a legacy of an Orthodox custom relationship again to the Byzantine empire.

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A transfer to transform Hagia Sophia right into a mosque might assist Erdogan consolidate widespread help. His conservative base, which regards the constructing as the primary mosque utilized in Istanbul after the Ottoman conquest, is being wooed by rivals who’ve performed up the nation’s spiritual hyperlink to the empire.

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“This is a vital turning level for Turkey,” native media cited Numan Kurtulmus, a deputy chairman of Erdogan’s ruling AK Get together, as saying on Wednesday. “Our individuals are trying ahead to the opening of Hagia Sophia for worship.”

Erdogan Plots an Overhaul of Political Realm as Challenges Mount

The publish Turkish Court Paves Way to Convert Hagia Sophia Into Mosque appeared first on Bloomberg.

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