Turkey is nearing the final stages of the conversion of the Chora Monastery into a mosque for its first Islamic prayer.
According to Yeni Şafak newspaper, this event is scheduled to take place on February 23, following the completion of the conversion of the temple-museum located in the Fatih district of Constantinople into a mosque.
The decision to convert the Chora Monastery into a mosque was announced by the Turkish government in August 2020. At that time, the church-museum was transferred to the administration of the Religious Affairs Service by the directive of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, a process similar to the conversion of Hagia Sophia.
Erdoğan’s decision sparked reactions from the Greek government, the European Commission, and UNESCO. Despite these objections, the conversion process moved forward.
According to reports from Yeni Şafak, special carpets typically used in mosques have been laid inside the Monastery.
Originally constructed in the 6th century (534 AD), the Chora Monastery stands as one of the oldest historical landmarks in Constantinople. It was converted into a mosque in 1511, alongside Hagia Sophia, following the Fall of Constantinople. The Chora Monastery served as a mosque for 434 years until it was repurposed as a museum in 1945 by ministerial decree.
In 2019, the Council of State of Turkey ruled that the 1945 ministerial decision, which designated the building as a museum, was unlawful, paving the way for its conversion back into a mosque.
Source: protothema.gr / Article translated by: Konstantinos Menyktas