- Jul 9, 2020
A state attorney on Thursday recommended that Turkey’s highest administrative court reject a request that Istanbul’s iconic Hagia Sophia, which now serves as museum, be turned back into a mosque, state-run media reported.
In its more than 1,400-year existence, the majestic domed structure of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul has served as the Byzantine Empire’s main cathedral, a mosque under the Ottoman Empire and a museum under modern Turkey, attracting millions of tourists each year.
Turkish airstrikes and ground troops are threatening areas in northern Iraq populated by Christians, Yazidis and Kurds trying to recover following 2014 attacks by Islamic State militants.
Catholic bishops in Turkey pledged not to contest plans to turn Istanbul’s ancient Hagia Sophia cathedral that now serves as a museum into a Muslim place of worship.
The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom has urged Washington to take concrete actions to safeguard religious freedoms established in northeast Syria, an area imperiled by Turkish troops and allied militants.
Turkey and Greece are trading blame following the deaths of Syrian refugees trying to flee to Europe, but some observers believe Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is weaponizing the Syrian refugee humanitarian crisis.