Middle East

Turkey Converts Church of Hagia Sophia from Museum to Mosque

(Updated) The Turkish parliament now is considering an application to re-convert the smaller church's Istanbul namesake as well.

Update (July 1): Morning Star News (MSN) reports that the petition to convert the Hagia Sophia from a museum into a Muslim mosque could be part of "a larger project of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to turn more of the nation's buildings and public spaces into Islamic places of worship."

According to MSN, "Istanbul has turned into a giant construction zone since the AKP began its rule 10 years ago, and since coming to power (prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan) has managed to put an Islamic spin on many projects." That includes Gezi Park and a 30,000-person "mega-mosque," about which Istanbul's Christians say they're not really concerned.

In the U.S., Turkey also is planning a 15-acre, $100-million mosque that will open in Lanham, Maryland, in 2014.

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Update (May 2):Just weeks after a Turkish court ruled to re-convert the Church of the Hagia Sophia into a mosque, Hurriyet Daily News reports that similar changes could be ...

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