ANKARA: After Hagia Sophia, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday ordered conversion of another iconic museum into a mosque in Istanbul.
The building Kariye Museum served as an Orthodox church before being converted into mosque and then into a museum. The decision is hailed by people of Turkey, Pakistan and other Muslim countries.
However, it has escalated tension with Greece as its foreign ministry said, “It is yet another provocation against religious persons everywhere.”
The 1,000-year-old building was built as a medieval Byzantine church, which was converted into the Kariye Mosque about 50 years after the 1453 conquest of Constantinople by the Ottoman Turks. Then it was converted into Kariye Museum after World War II under the leadership of Kemal Attaturk who snatched the rights of Muslim population to practice their religion freely.
The decision for reconversion of the museum into mosque is taken in accordance with the November 2019 ruling of top administrative court of Turkey.