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Hagia Sophia Museum to Become a Mosque Again

The ancient cathedral of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul – the former seat of eastern Christianity – could now be dedicated to use as a mosque after Turkey’s high court on Friday ruled its conversion into a museum in 1934 was unlawful.

The court’s decision revokes that museum status and would allow Hagia Sophia to become a working mosque once more, a decision which sparked a furious response within minutes of being confirmed, with UNESCO warning, “We call upon the Turkish authorities to engage in dialogue before taking any decision that might impact the universal value of the site.”

It was a decision long sought by conservative Muslims in Turkey and beyond, and especially by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose popularity is waning after 18 years atop Turkish politics, the New York Times reports. (BB / VFI News)