A group of Orthodox Christians in Turkey, which belongs to the Greek minority of Constantinople, is taking legal action against the conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque, appealing to the Council of State against the cancellation of the regime that has been in force since last July at the monument.
As reported by protothema.gr, the appeal alleges that the conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque violates the UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, which requires states to: “ensure the identification, protection, preservation, presentation and the transmission to future generations of cultural and natural heritage”.
For almost a millennium, Hagia Sophia was an Orthodox Cathedral and was converted into a mosque after the conquest of Constantinople in 1453. Some of the Christian mosaics and icons were covered with plaster so that Muslims could practice their worship. “Islam does not allow the presence of images in prayer.” Now, curtains and folding fabrics are used to cover the Christian symbols during Muslim prayers,” Turkish media reported.