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World Erdogan Offers to Aid Azerbaijan After Skirmishes With Armenia

16:15  17 july  2020
16:15  17 july  2020 Source:   bloomberg.com

Turkey: towards a transformation of Hagia Sophia into a mosque, Erdogan authorizes prayers

 Turkey: towards a transformation of Hagia Sophia into a mosque, Erdogan authorizes prayers © Ozan KOSE The ex-Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, June 28, 2020 Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the opening on Friday from the former Hagia Sophia in Istanbul to Muslim prayers after a court paved the way for its transformation into a mosque by canceling its current status as a museum.

(Bloomberg) --

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan pledged to support Azerbaijan after fighting with Armenia led to military and civilian casualties.

“Armenia is continuously targeting Azerbaijan’s civilian areas. We will certainly not leave brother Azerbaijan alone,” Erdogan said in a press conference after Friday prayers in Istanbul. “Armenia is an invader.”

Azerbaijan has confirmed 12 soldiers and a civilian have died since Sunday in the most serious escalation between the two countries since fighting in April 2016 killed hundreds on both sides. Armenia has reported four fatalities among its servicemen.

Erdogan rebuffs criticism over Hagia Sophia conversion to mosque

  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.

Turkey will upgrade Azerbaijan’s military equipment and supply new systems, Turkish Defense Industries Chairman Ismail Demir said earlier Friday in a Twitter post. Ankara is ready to help Azerbaijan with drones, missiles and electronic warfare devices, he said.

a close up of text on a black background: Azeri-Armenian Conflict © Bloomberg Azeri-Armenian Conflict

Turkey has provided military support to Azerbaijan since its conflict with Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh, a majority Armenian-populated region of Azerbaijan, three decades ago as the Soviet Union collapsed. Armenians took control of the mountainous region, which is still internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, along with seven adjacent districts, before Russia brokered a cease-fire in 1994. No peace deal has been signed despite mediation by the U.S., Russia and France.

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Turkey's Hagia Sophia holds first Friday prayers since conversion back to mosque .
Istanbul's historic Hagia Sophia has reopened for Friday prayers for the first time since a decision was made to turn it back into a mosque after more than 80 years as a museum. © OZAN KOSE/AFP/Getty Images This aerial picture taken on June 28, 2020 in Istanbul shows Hagia Sophia museum in Istanbul. - Turkey's top court is due on July 2, 2020 to deliver a critical verdict on the status of Istanbul's emblematic landmark church-turned-mosque-turned museum Hagia Sophia, a ruling which could inflame tensions mainly with neighboring Greece.

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