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By Pete Moore On July 10th, 2020

One less reason to visit Turkey then.

The world-famous Hagia Sophia museum in Istanbul (Constantinople – PM) – originally founded as a cathedral – has been turned back into a mosque.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the decision after a court annulled the site’s museum status.

Built 1,500 years ago as an Orthodox Christian cathedral, Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque after the Ottoman conquest in 1453.

In 1934 it became a museum and is now a Unesco World Heritage site.

We can assume a unanimous verdict by the court, one which has enraged Orthodox Christians. It is a beauty of a church, which I once had the pleasure of visiting, though the minarets are rather out of place. Alas Turkey has somewhat retrenched since my drive though Asia Minor, destination the 7th-Century. But that’s Islam all over; colonisation and imperialism wherever it goes.


  1. And there was I thinking it would be turned into Istanbul’s LGBTQ+ outreach centre 🙂

  2. Erdogan is an Islamist, but he’s not mental.

  3. I have visited this beautiful building.

    Yes, Turkey sinks ever further into backwardness.

  4. Start up the Crusades!

  5. At last, a policy that Mahons and I can unite around.

  6. Even now, five hundred years after the fall of Constantinople, you feel Greece and Greek culture most everywhere you go in Istanbul.

    One of the more interesting places that I’ve ever visited.

    I would consider going back, and using it as a jumping off point to visit some other place in the region

  7. Agree with Phantom – Istanbul is fascinating and Hagia Sofia is magical – I’ve visited it twice.

    I’ve no objection to a return to Ottoman traditionalism but Erdogan isn’t a traditionalist; he’s just an Islamist Turkish nationalist. A poor man’s, sectarian Ataturk. This move isn’t being done for traditionalism but rather triumphalism.

  8. That’s right phantom, I’m no expert but I visted Ephesus in 2018 , all around the coastal areas was Greek and Roman statues and buildings, and of course St.Paul established all the early churches , seven of which are in Turkey . The seven letters to the churches are all placed not too far from each other, I got to see two , but really needed a motorbike to go round them all .

    Its predictable but still sad news this. What would happen if the jews demolished the dome of the rock and reclaimed it as a jewish site ?

  9. Or the great mosque of Seville turned into a cathedral?

  10. After Turkey’s bloody and not so distant history of huge massacres of Greeks and Armenians, vast crimes that they have never atoned for or admitted, you’d think that they’d stay away from things like this.

    I imagine that there are many moderate Turks who would oppose this stain on their nation.

  11. Religous supremacy sucks !

  12. It is a crime against world culture. For a while it seemed Turkey was emerging from darkness but this bloody dictator has returned them to darkness while the world watches aghast.

  13. As long as the fools don’t damage it, the move can – and hopefully will soon be – reversed. In that sense, Erdogan is no worse than the current wave of iconoclasm in the West.
    It’s a dreamy building, one of the holy places of European civilisation. The dome has a special place in the heart (or soul 🙂 of anyone who knows their Yeats.