Erdogan signals support to turn Hagia Sophia, 6th century seat of Eastern Christianity, back into mosque

By The Christian Post

Local and foreign tourists visit the Byzantine monument of Hagia Sophia, or Ayasofya, which is now a museum in Istanbul June 7, 2012. | (Photo: Reuters/Murad Sezer)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is in favor of turning Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia back into a mosque as a court is expected to decide within 15 days the fate of the Unesco world heritage site, which was the seat of Eastern Christianity for 900 years before being converted into an Ottoman mosque and then into a museum.

Turkey’s Council of State, the country’s highest administrative court, held a hearing lasting just 17 minutes Thursday and said it would make a ruling within 15 days on the future of Hagia Sophia, according to BBC.

Hagia Sophia was built in A.D. 537 as a Greek Orthodox church and was the seat of Eastern Christianity before the city was seized by Sultan Mehmed II, the Conqueror, in the 15th century. In 1934, modern Turkey’s founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, banned worship in Hagia Sophia and designated it as a museum.

Source:The Christian Post