Hagia Sophia: Turkish beauty
from Museum to Mosque
Hagia Sophia the iconic Turkish building is the former Greek Orthodox Christian patriarchal Cathedral, later turned into Ottoman Imperial Mosque located in Istanbul, Turkey. Hagia Sophia was built in AD 537 by Byzantine Empire and it was world’s largest building and engineering marvel of its time, it is famous for its large dome. It was constructed during 532 and 537 on the orders of Roman Emperor Justinian I as the third Church of Holy Wisdom.
Sultan Mehmet II also known as Mehmet the Conqueror took Constantinople (Istanbul) on 29 May 1453 after epic battle against Byzantine Empire and converted the church into Mosque. It remained Mosque until 1935 when Mustafa Kamal Ataturk became the first Turkish President and founder of the Republic of Turkey. He ordered to convert Hagia Sophia Mosque into Museum.
Islamists in Turkey have always been in the favor of converting the museum into mosque but opposed by liberals of country. On July 10, 2020 Turkish court revoked the museum status of Hagia Sophia clearing the way for its conversion into Mosque.
“It was concluded that the settlement deed allocated it as a mosque and its use outside this character is not possible legally,” Turkey’s top administrative court said in a ruling.
“The cabinet decision in 1934 that ended its use as a mosque and defined it as a museum did not comply with laws,” it said.
Turkish President also favored the conversion of museum into mosque and he already announced its conversion into a mosque on the UN cultural heritage forum.