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Hagia Sophia Into A Mosque? World Reaction to Turkish Ruling & Erdogan Statement | Trending Issue

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan declared Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia open to Muslim worship on Friday after a court ruled that the building’s conversion to a museum by modern Turkey’s founding statesman was illegal. Below are some reactions to the court’s ruling and Erdogan’s announcement. World reacts to Turkey reconverting Hagia Sophia into a mosque UNESCO, Greece, Cyprus and church leaders among others express concern about changing status of the sixth-century site. Condemnation from abroad as Erdogan converts Hagia Sophia into mosque. Istanbul: Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has declared Istanbul's Hagia Sophia a mosque with the first Muslim prayers to begin in two weeks, after a top court ruled the ancient building's conversion to a museum nearly 90 years ago was illegal. Hagia Sophia: Turkey turns iconic Istanbul museum into mosque Erdogan orders Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia to revert to being a mosque Decision by Turkish president risks anger from Christian communities around the world GREECE “This is a choice which offends all those who also recognise the monument as a World Heritage Site. And of course it does not only affect relations between Turkey and Greece, but its relations with the European Union” - Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. UNITED STATES “We are disappointed by the decision by the government of Turkey to change the status of the Hagia Sophia. We understand the Turkish Government remains committed to maintaining access to the Hagia Sophia for all visitors, and look forward to hearing its plans for continued stewardship of the Hagia Sophia to ensure it remains accessible without impediment for all” - State Department Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus. RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH “It is a real shame that the concerns of the Russian Orthodox Church and other Orthodox churches were not heard. This decision, alas, is not aimed at reconciling existing differences, but on the contrary, may lead to even greater divisions” - Russian Orthodox Church official Vladimir Legoida. EUROPEAN UNION “The ruling by the Turkish Council of State to overturn one of modern Turkey’s landmark decisions and President Erdogan’s decision to place the monument under the management of the Religious Affairs Presidency is regrettable” - EU Foreign Policy chief Josep Borrell. CYPRUS “It is a historical appropriation and desecration of a World Heritage monument of particular value to the world’s Christians” - Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades. UNITED NATIONS “UNESCO calls on the Turkish authorities to open a dialogue without delay in order to avoid a step back from the universal value of this exceptional heritage whose preservation will be reviewed by the World Heritage Committee in its next session” - UNESCO statement. ONER CAGAPTAY, DIRECTOR OF TURKISH RESEARCH PROGRAM AT WASHINGTON INSTITUTE FOR NEAR EAST POLICY “Erdogan has been flooding Turkey’s public space, education policy and government with a brand of conservative Islam, and Hagia Sophia is the crowning moment of Erdogan’s religious revolution which has been unfolding in Turkey for over a decade. “Just as Ataturk nearly 100 years ago ‘unmosqued’ Hagia Sophia to underline commitment to his own secularist revolution, to take religion out of politics, Erdogan is now doing nearly the opposite. He is reconverting the building into a mosque to underline his own religious revolution. Hagia Sophia. Hagia Sophia (/ˈhɑːɡiə soʊˈfiːə/; from the Ancient Greek: Ἁγία Σοφία, romanized: Hagía Sophía; Latin: Sancta Sophia or Sancta Sapientia, 'Holy Wisdom') also known as the Holy Mosque of Hagia Sophia (Turkish: Ayasofya-yı Kebir Cami-i Şerifi), is a historic house of worship located in Istanbul that has served as a Greek Orthodox Christian patriarchal cathedral, a Roman Catholic cathedral, an Ottoman mosque, and a secular museum. As of July 2020 the site has been reclassified as a mosque by the President of Turkey. Built in AD 537, during the reign of the Roman emperor Justinian I, it was then the world's largest interior space and the first to employ a fully pendentive dome. It is considered the epitome of Byzantine architecture[3] and is said to have "changed the history of architecture".

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