By Amechi Idumuebor (AGENDAWATCHDOG) – Turkish President, Recep Erdogan has reeled out an order to transform a 6th century church-turned-museum in Istanbul into a mosque. The structure, which is located a few kilometres from the famous Hagia Sophia, was opened to Muslim prayers in July, 2020.
According to a presidential order published Friday on its official gazette, the Chora Museum was ordered to be opened for Islamic prayers.
As was the case with Hagia Sophia, the museum will be handed over to Turkey’s religious authority, Diyanet. Dpa reports that the building, also known as the Church of the Holy Saviour, was turned into an Ottoman Mosque in the 16th century. In November 2019, Turkey’s top administrative court annulled the 1945 decision, paving the way for its conversion into a mosque.
In what Edorgan describes as foreign interference in the internal affairs of Turkey, the change in status of Hagia Sophia has been summarily slammed by the United States, European Union, Russia, UNESCO and church leaders, who would prefer it to remain a cultural landmark for both adherents of the Christian and Islamic faiths.