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World Turkey will inform UNESCO about Hagia Sophia moves, minister says

13:16  13 july  2020
13:16  13 july  2020 Source:   reuters.com

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.

Reclaiming Hagia Sophia plays well with his base - religious conservatives - and with Turkish nationalists. Critics say he's using the issue to The organisation had urged Turkey not to change its status without discussion. Image copyright Getty Images. Image caption The Hagia Sophia has huge

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis also condemned the move , not just for the damage it would do to relations between Greece and Turkey , but Ankara's relations with "the European Union, UNESCO and the world community". The transformation of the Hagia Sophia dominated the headlines in Greek

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkey will inform the United Nation's cultural body UNESCO about steps being taken regarding Istanbul's Hagia Sophia, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Monday, after Ankara converted the museum back into a mosque.

a group of people walking in front of a building: Police officers walk in front of Hagia Sophia, or Ayasofya-i Kebir Camii, in Istanbul © Reuters/Murad Sezer Police officers walk in front of Hagia Sophia, or Ayasofya-i Kebir Camii, in Istanbul Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu wearing a suit and tie: FILE PHOTO: German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu address the media during a joint news conference after a meeting in Berlin © Reuters/POOL New FILE PHOTO: German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu address the media during a joint news conference after a meeting in Berlin

On Friday, a Turkish court ruled that the sixth-century building's conversion to a museum was unlawful and President Tayyip Erdogan declared that it is now a mosque. Cavusoglu was speaking in an interview with state broadcaster TRT Haber.

UNESCO said on Friday it would review the status of the monument as a World Heritage Site following Erdogan's enouncement. Hagia Sophia was a Byzantine church for nine centuries before the Ottomans converted it to a mosque.

(Reporting by Ali Kucukgocmen; Writing by Daren Butler; Editing by Dominic Evans)

Turkey’s decision to convert Hagia Sophia into mosque strikes fears for other holy sites .
Religious and political leaders are decrying Turkey's decision to make Istanbul's Hagia Sophia, known for its Christian origin and as the secular Muslim nation's most popular tourist site, into a mosque.Built as a Greek Orthodox Church nearly 1,500 years ago and converted into a mosque after the Ottoman conquest of 1453, the Unesco World Heritage Site became a museum in 1934 under Turkish Republic founding father Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. Today, it attracts more than 3.7 million visitors a year.

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