Turkey: Renewed calls to turn Hagia Sophia into a mosque

Turkish pro-government daily “Yeni Safak” again raises the topic of Hagia Sophia, with its front-page (5/11) headline today. According to the Turkish newspaper, the Council of State of Turkey is expected to consider converting the museum of the Chora Monastery – with its magnificent mosaics – into a mosque, and its decision is expected to be a precedent for other museums, which were occupied by the Ottoman Empire. and had functioned as mosques, including Hagia Sophia.

Also known as Kariye Cami, it was converted into a museum in 1945 by a decision of the cabinet of ministers of the time. However, today the Foundation for the Preservation of Historical Monuments and the Environment filed a lawsuit seeking the annulment of the 1945 decision and the conversion of the country’s monastery into a mosque.

If the 10th section of the Council of State, which will decide the case, decides in favor of turning the monastery into a mosque again, this – according to the Turkish newspaper – will also be a decree for Hagia Sophia to reopen as mosque, which is a constant demand of fanatical Muslims in Turkey.

Hagia Sophia was also converted into a museum on the basis of a cabinet decision in 1934, a decree that could be overturned in court and specifically by the Council of State, according to Yeni Safak.

However, a year ago, Turkey’s supreme judicial authority, the Constitutional Court, had rejected a request by the same institution again to call for the operation of Hagia Sophia as a mosque, closing the case definitively and irrevocably.