Saint Sophia Cathedral, built about 1500 years ago, was converted into a mosque in Turkey in 1453 during the Ottoman period. The building is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was declared a Museum by the Progressive Government of Turkey in 1934. This is what Urdugan changed again in the wake of the court ruling. The Geneva-based World Church Council has expressed concern to the pope.Islamists in Turkey have long called for the museum to be turned into a mosque. But the move was opposed by members of the secular opposition. President Erdogan justified the decision by saying that the country was only exercising its sovereignty. He added that all Muslims, non-Muslims and foreign tourists will have access to the building.
TRENDING:Gold Smuggling Case | Swapna and Sandeep’s Kovid test result negative [NEWS]Gold Smuggling Case | ‘Hidden in dream’ near CM’s daughter’s office; Police and CPM assisted ‘: K. Surendran [NEWS]Qualcomm-Jio deal | Qualcomm to invest Rs. Thirteenth investment in Geo in three months [NEWS]
Apart from the Pope, various political and religious leaders around the world have criticized Turkey’s move. The World Church Council president urged Urdugan to reconsider the decision. Turkish world-renowned writer Orhan Pamuk also came out against the decision. Millions of secular Turkish citizens, including himself, are upset by the decision, but their voices are not heard, Pamuk said.