news from around the world – 11.07.2020

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    The state Council of Turkey, which is also the highest judicial authority in the country, canceled the government’s decision to grant the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul the status of a Museum. Thus, the authorities of the country received a legal opportunity to change the status of Hagia Sophia from a Museum to a mosque, reports TASS with reference to CNN Turk.

    In addition, the day before the state Council decided that the status of the Cathedral can be revised by presidential decree.

    President Erdogan posted a photo of the decree he signed on Twitter. “It has been decided to hand over the administration of Hagia Sophia to Diyanet and open it for worship,” the decree reads.

    Later, justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul called for the Cathedral to become a mosque again. Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also spoke in favor of this.

    Turkish foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu earlier said that his country has the right to change the status of the Cathedral, turning it into a mosque, without taking into account the opinions of other States.

    In turn, the Armenian Patriarch of Turkey, Sahak II, suggested that the Hagia Sophia should become a place of prayer for both Christians and Muslims.

    Representatives of Orthodox churches and high-ranking diplomats, including US Secretary of state Mike Pompeo, have spoken out against turning Sofia into a mosque.

    The temple was founded by the Christian Emperor Justinian and was opened on December 27, 537. The Cathedral was the largest Church in the Christian world for more than a thousand years. After the capture of Constantinople by the Ottomans and the fall of the Byzantine Empire in 1453, the Cathedral was converted into a mosque.

    The dispute over the future of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul unfolded after the Koran was read in this Church on may 29, the next anniversary of the fall of Constantinople. A week later, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan instructed to study the possibility of turning the Hagia Sophia into a mosque.

    The Hagia Sophia received its Museum status in 1934 by the decision of the first President of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. Since 1985, the Cathedral has been included in the UNESCO world heritage list.

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