Turkey’s Council of State Meets on Hagia Sophia

07/03/2020 Turkey (International Christian Concern) – Turkey’s Council of State, the country’s highest administrative court, has delayed making a ruling about the conversion of the Hagia Sophia cathedral into a mosque. They met yesterday for only 17 minutes and said that they will make public their ruling within 15 days.

The Hagia Sophia was turned into a mosque following the Ottoman conquest, and then later turned into a museum with the birth of modern Turkey. It is today one of the most contested religious buildings in the world. President Erdogan has repeatedly promised to convert the church back into a mosque, citing the belief that once a building becomes a mosque, it can never become anything else (also known as a public immovable).

No one knows exactly what the court’s ruling will be, but it is widely predicted that the court will defer the decision. A member of the court had reportedly asked last month for the case’s dismissal, saying that it is a political decision not a judicial one. However, the same court last year heard a similar case regarding the Chora Greek Orthodox Church. This church has a similar history as the Hagia Sophia, and the court ruled that once it became a mosque, it became a public immovable.

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