x

Politics

Turkey Makes Move to Change Hagia Sophia Church Status

ANKARA — After he repeatedly said he wants to transform the revered ancient Greek church of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople into a mosque, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has reportedly told government officials to stud how to change the status.

The Byzantine-era Greek Patriarchal cathedral was turned into a mosque after Constantinople fell to Turkish invaders  in 1453 and became a museum in 1935 but Erdogan is keen on making it a mosque again.

“Hagia Sophia can continue to be visited by tourists as a mosque, as is Sultanahmet (the Blue Mosque.) Our nation should decide on this,” Erdogan was quoted by Turkey’s Hurriyet telling officials of his AKP party’s central executive board.

“Do a study for Hagia Sophia, let’s evaluate and talk,” he reportedly told officials, warning them to “be very sensitive” about the issue without clarifying what that meant although his intentions are well known.

On May 29, Imams recited verses of the Koran inside the cathedral to mark the anniversary of the conquest of the city, now called Istanbul by the restse of the world but still Constantinople by Greece.

The UNESCO World Heritage site was built in the 6th century as the main seat of the Greek Orthodox church and is one of the world's most popular tourist attractions, drawing about three million visitors annually. 

RELATED

ATHENS - While Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis was in Washington to meet US President Joe Biden, rival parties insisted he must try to stop the planned sale of F-16 fighter jets to Turkey.

Top Stories

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

General News

PHILADELPHIA – The Federation of Hellenic Societies of Philadelphia and Greater Delaware Valley announced that the Evzones, the Presidential Guard of Greece will be participating in the Philadelphia Greek Independence Day Parade on March 20.

Video

PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ Address to the Joint Session of the U.S. Congress

WASHINGOTN - The full text of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ speech to the Joint Session of the US Congress is as follows: Madam Speaker, Madam Vice President, Honorable Members of the United States Congress, Ladies and Gentlemen, There is no greater honor for the elected leader of the people who created democracy than to address the elected representatives of the people who founded their country on the Greek model and have promoted and defended democratic values ever since.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.