The pro-government Turkish newspaper “Yeni Safak” raises again, with its front-page headline today (11/5), the topic of Hagia Sophia.
According to the Turkish newspaper, the Council of State of Turkey is expected to consider converting the museum of the Chora Monastery -with its magnificent mosaics- into a mosque, and its decision is expected to be a precedent for other museums, which, during the Ottoman Empire, functioned as mosques, including Hagia Sophia.
The Chora Monastery, also known as Kariye Cami, was converted into a museum in 1945 by a decision of the cabinet of ministers of the time. However, today the Foundation for the Conservation of Turkey’s Monuments, Environment and Tourism Assets filed a lawsuit seeking the annulment of the 1945 decision and the conversion of the Chora Monastery into a mosque.
If the 10th section of the Council of State, which will decide the case, decides in favour of converting the monastery into a mosque again, this will -according to the Turkish newspaper- become a legal precedent for Hagia Sophia to reopen as mosque, which is a constant demand of the fanatical Muslims in Turkey.
It should be reminded that Hagia Sophia was also converted into a museum on the basis of a cabinet decision in 1934, a decree that could be overturned in court and specifically by the Council of State, according to “Yeni Safak”.
The Constitutional Court has rejected a request for Hagia Sophia
However, a year ago, Turkey’s supreme judicial authority, the Constitutional Court, had rejected a request by the same institution again to call for the operation of Hagia Sophia as a mosque, closing the case definitively and irrevocably.