Hagia Sophia: Pope Francis “quite saddened” as Turkey converts museum into mosque

Hagia Sophia: Pope Francis "very saddened" as Turkey converts museum into mosque

“The sea takes my believed a bit far, to Istanbul,” the pontiff claimed all through the prayer, which commemorates men and women who do the job at sea.

Since a cabinet decree in 1934, the legendary setting up in Istanbul has served as a museum, but on Friday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan issued a presidential decree to transfer the administration of the setting up from the Ministry of Tradition to the Presidency of Spiritual Affairs.

The get follows a former ruling by a Turkish courtroom that annulled the many years-outdated cabinet decree.

The Hagia Sophia is a UNESCO Environment Heritage web-site, and the group suggests it deeply regrets Turkey’s final decision.

“Hagia Sophia is an architectural masterpiece and a distinctive testimony to interactions amongst Europe and Asia around the hundreds of years,” mentioned the Director-Typical Audrey Azoulay.

“Its position as a museum reflects the common nature of its heritage, and helps make it a strong symbol for dialogue.”

Greece and France have also named into query Turkey’s secularism.

The legendary building’s history stretches again to the Byzantine empire in the 6th century, when it was constructed as a cathedral. In the 15th century, it became a mosque.

Given that Islam forbids pictures of men and women to be displayed in mosques, officers plan to use lights and curtains to include up the several Byzantine Christian mosaics in the Hagia Sophia, Turkey’s head of spiritual affairs Ali Erbaş stated Sunday on Turkish Tv.

Right after prayer, the paintings will be uncovered for website visitors at the time again. Entrance service fees will also be canceled, President Erdoğan said.

“Like all our mosques, its doorways will be open to everyone — Muslim or non-Muslim,” Erdoğan reported.

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“As the world’s typical heritage, Hagia Sophia, with its new position, will keep on embracing all people in a additional sincere way.”

CNN’s Sharif Paget, Murat Baykara, Isil Sariyuce, Livia Borghese and Zahid Mahmood contributed to this report.

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