The court ruled on Friday that the 1934 decree converting the ancient Byzantine cathedral into a museum was not lawful. Immediately after the ruling, Erdogan shared a copy of a decree on Twitter, mandating that the site be turned over to the country’s religious directorate and reopened for worship.
Dating back to the 6th century, the Hagia Sophia is one of the most visited cultural sites in Turkey, as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
UNESCO has expressed concern over Erdogan’s vision for the historic structure, noting in a statement on Friday that the building has a “strong symbolic and universal value.” It called on Turkey to “engage in dialogue” before taking any steps that might impact its universal value.
Comment: While the West celebrates its self-destruction on the altar of multiculturalism, Islam shows no such compunction.