Just after Hagia Sophia, Turkey turns a different museum into mosque

After Hagia Sophia, Turkey turns another museum into mosque

ANKARA, Turkey — The Turkish government formally transformed a previous Byzantine church into a mosque Friday, a shift that came a month after it drew praise from the faithful and global opposition for equally turning Istanbul’s landmark Hagia Sophia into a Muslim dwelling of prayer.

A decision by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, printed in the country’s Formal Gazette, said Istanbul’s Church of St. Saviour in Chora, known as Kariye in Turkish, was handed to Turkey’s religious authority, which would open up the structure for Muslim prayers.

Like the Hagia Sophia, which was a church for centuries and then a mosque for hundreds of years more, experienced operated as a museum for a long time right before Erdogan purchased it restored as a mosque. It was not immediately regarded when the very first prayers would be held there.

Hagia Sophia (Aya Sofya) indoors captured with fish-eye lens. Warm tone provided. Unrecognizable people today visible.See additional Istanbul

The church, located in the vicinity of the ancient town walls, is famed for its elaborate mosaics and frescoes. It dates to the 4th century, even though the edifice took on its recent variety in the 11th-12th generations.

The framework served as a mosque through the Ottoman rule ahead of getting reworked into a museum in 1945. A court docket decision final 12 months canceled the building’s position as a museum, paving the way for Friday’s conclusion.

And as with the Hagia Sophia, the final decision to rework the Chora back into a mosque is seen as geared to consolidate the conservative and religious assist foundation of Erdogan’s ruling social gathering at a time when his reputation is sagging amid an economic downturn.

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People visit the Byzantine-era Hagia Sophia, an UNESCO World Heritage site and one of Istanbul's main tourist attractions in the historic Sultanahmet district of Istanbul, July 10.

Folks take a look at the Byzantine-period Hagia Sophia, an UNESCO Planet Heritage web page and 1 of Istanbul’s main tourist sights in the historic Sultanahmet district of Istanbul, July 10.
(AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)

Greece’s Foreign Ministry strongly condemned the move, expressing that Turkish authorities “are at the time once more brutally insulting the character” of another U.N.-mentioned environment heritage web site.

“This is a provocation versus all believers,” the Greek ministry claimed in a statement. “We urge Turkey to return to the 21st century, and the mutual regard, dialogue and knowing between civilizations.”

Elpidophoros, the Greek Orthodox archbishop of The us, wrote on Twitter: “After the tragic transgression with Hagia Sophia, now the Monastery of Chora, this beautiful offering of Byzantine culture to the earth!”

HAGIA SOPHIA HOSTS Initially PRAYER Considering that REOPENING, 86 A long time Just after Converting TO A MUSEUM

Various Istanbul residents rushed to the building Friday, some hoping to hold prayers there, Turkey’s point out-run Anadolu Company documented.

“Like the Hagia Sophia, this is an vital mosque for Muslims,” the agency quoted Istanbul resident Cuma Er as expressing. “We came right here to pray following we discovered about the final decision. But we have been informed that it has not nevertheless been opened for prayers. We are waiting for the opening.”

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Previous thirty day period, Erdogan joined hundreds of worshipers for the initial Muslim prayers in Hagia Sophia in 86 decades, brushing aside the global criticism and calls for the monument to be held as a museum in recognition of Istanbul’s multi-religion heritage. As many as 350,000 took component in the prayers outside the house the construction.

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