Jul 10, 2020 21:06 Asia/Tehran [Updated: Jul 10, 2020 21:35 Asia/Tehran]
  • Hagia Sophia converted back Into a mosque

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has ordered the Hagia Sophia museum, one of Istanbul's most famous landmarks, to be converted into a mosque.

Iran Press/Asia: Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared Istanbul's Hagia Sophia open to Muslim worship after a top court ruled that the building's conversion to a museum by modern Turkey's founding statesman was illegal.

The Hagia Sofia, a major draw for tourists, has a long and complicated history. The architectural marvel was built as a church by the Byzantines in the 6th century and then converted to a mosque after the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in 1453.

In 1934, Turkish leader Mustafa Kemal Ataturk's cabinet decreed that it be turned into a museum. It is widely regarded as a symbol of peaceful religious coexistence.

Friday's court ruling invalidates the 1934 decree. It grants Turkey's president the authority to restore the museum to its status as a working mosque. The decision said the site is listed as a mosque in its title deed and that cannot be changed, Turkey's Anadolu news agency reported.

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