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World 'Unacceptable': Russian church blasts Turkey's Hagia Sophia plan

05:30  05 july  2020
05:30  05 july  2020 Source:   aljazeera.com

Museum or mosque? Turkey decides on the future of Hagia Sophia

 Museum or mosque? Turkey decides on the future of Hagia Sophia © Ozan KOSE Aerial view of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul on June 28, 2020 The highest court in Turkey decides on Thursday on the conversion of the former basilica into a mosque Hagia Sophia, a decision that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan calls for at the risk of creating tension with several countries.

Hagia Sophia , or Ayasofya , is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Istanbul, Turkey [Murad Sezer/Reuters]. He said the Russian Orthodox Church did not understand the motive for Hagia Sophia ' s conversion and that it believed domestic politics was behind the move.

Converting Istanbul' s Hagia Sophia monument from a museum to a mosque would be " unacceptable ", a senior official in the Russian Orthodox Church Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has proposed restoring the mosque status of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, a sixth century building at the heart

Converting Istanbul's Hagia Sophia monument from a museum to a mosque would be "unacceptable", a senior official in the Russian Orthodox Church said on Saturday.

Hagia Sophia, or Ayasofya, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Istanbul, Turkey [Murad Sezer/Reuters] © [Murad Sezer/Reuters] Hagia Sophia, or Ayasofya, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Istanbul, Turkey [Murad Sezer/Reuters]

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has proposed restoring the mosque status of the World Heritage Site recognised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization - a sixth-century building at the heart of both the Christian Byzantine and Muslim Ottoman empires and now one of Turkey's most visited monuments.

France wants Hagia Sophia in Istanbul to remain "open to all"

 France wants Hagia Sophia in Istanbul to remain TURKEY-SAINTE-SOPHIE-FRANCE: France wants Hagia Sophia in Istanbul to remain "open to all" © Reuters / Murad Sezer FRANCE WANTS SAINTE-SOPHIE IN ISTANBUL REMAINS "OPEN TO ALL" PARIS (Reuters) - France wants the Hagia Sophia museum in Istanbul to remain "open to all", the Foreign Ministry said on Thursday while the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan wants to transform it back into a mosque.

Converting Istanbul' s Hagia Sophia monument from a museum to a mosque would be " unacceptable ", a senior official in the Russian Orthodox Church said on Saturday. FILE PHOTO: Hagia Sophia or Ayasofya , a UNESCO World Heritage Site, that was a Byzantine cathedral before being converted

MOSCOW, July 4 — Converting Istanbul’ s Hagia Sophia monument from a museum to a mosque would be “ unacceptable ”, a senior official in the Russian He said the Russian Orthodox Church did not understand the motive for Hagia Sophia ’ s conversion and that it believed domestic politics was

"We can't go back to the Middle Ages now," Metropolitan Hilarion, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate's department for external church relations, said on state television.

"We live in a multipolar world, we live in a multi-confessional world, and we need to respect the feelings of believers."

He said the Russian Orthodox Church did not understand the motive for Hagia Sophia's conversion and that it believed domestic politics was behind the move.

"We believe that in the current conditions this act is an unacceptable violation of religious freedom," Hilarion was quoted as saying.

Turkey's Erdogan rejects criticism over status of Hagia Sophia

  Turkey's Erdogan rejects criticism over status of Hagia Sophia Turkey's Erdogan rejects criticism over status of Hagia SophiaErdogan has proposed restoring the mosque status of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, a building at the heart of both the Christian Byzantine and Muslim Ottoman empires and today one of Turkey's most visited monuments.

Hagia Sophia is a pan-Christian holy site," Metropolitan Hilarion said. "Those mosaics were preserved by miracle, because plaster was put on them. Earlier CNN Turk reported that Turkey ’ s State Council discussed the matter on July 2, upon instructions from the country’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

FILE PHOTO: Hagia Sophia or Ayasofya , a UNESCO World Heritage Site, that was a Byzantine cathedral MOSCOW (Reuters) - Converting Istanbul' s Hagia Sophia monument from a museum to a mosque would be " unacceptable ", a senior official in the Russian Orthodox Church said on Saturday.

A Turkish court earlier this week heard a case aimed at converting the building back into a mosque and will announce its verdict later this month.

The court case, brought by an NGO for preserving historic monuments, disputes the legality of a decision in 1934, in the early days of the modern secular Turkish state under Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, to convert Hagia Sophia - known in Turkish as Ayasofya - from a mosque into a museum.

The proposal has been criticised by other religious and political leaders.

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, based in Istanbul and the spiritual leader of some 300 million Orthodox Christians worldwide, said converting Hagia Sophia into a mosque would disappoint Christians and would "fracture" East and West.

United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the Greek government have also urged Turkey to keep the building as a museum.

Erdogan has described foreign criticism over the proposal as an attack on Turkey's sovereignty.

Erdogan rebuffs criticism over Hagia Sophia conversion to mosque .
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday rejected worldwide condemnation over Turkey's decision to convert the Byzantine-era monument Hagia Sophia back into a mosque, saying it represented his country's will to use its "sovereign rights". Erdogan, who is accused by critics of chipping away at the Muslim-majority country's secular pillars, announced Friday that Muslim prayers would begin on July 24 at the UNESCO World Heritage site. In theErdogan, who is accused by critics of chipping away at the Muslim-majority country's secular pillars, announced Friday that Muslim prayers would begin on July 24 at the UNESCO World Heritage site.

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