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    HomeNewsCourt paves way to turn Hagia Sophia into mosque

    Court paves way to turn Hagia Sophia into mosque

    A Turkish court has ruled that Istanbul’s famous Hagia Sophia can be converted from a museum back into a mosque once again, overruling the 1934 decree that turned it into a museum in the first place. The Council of State, Turkey’s top administrative court, ruled that the original decree was unlawful. It was made by Turkey’s first president after the fall of the Ottoman Empire, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. Turkey’s current president, Tayyip Erdogan says the sacred site should revert to being a place of Muslim worship but the ruling is likely to bring global condemnation. The World Heritage site was at the center of both the Christian Byzantine and Muslim Ottoman empires and is today one of Turkey’s most visited monuments. UNESCO said on Thursday (July 9) that it must be notified of any change in the status of Hagia Sophia museum and the changes may have to be reviewed by its World Heritage committee. UNESCO told Reuters that it was on its list of World Heritage Sites as a museum, and because of that, it had certain commitments and legal obligations. It said it had expressed its concerns to Turkish authorities in several letters. The move has been criticized by both the US and neighboring Greece in recent weeks.
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    World News from Reuters

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