Hagia Sophia

The Constitutional Court of Turkey is set to decide whether Hagia Sophia will be turned into a place of Muslim worship later today, Thursday 13th of September, following an appeal by the Turkish Union of Historical Monuments.

Hagia Sophia for almost 1,000 years was the largest Greek Orthodox Christian church in the world.

Turkish media reports that the Union had requested the Turkish government in 2004 to make arrangements to open Hagia Sophia as a Muslim prayer house but did not receive a response.

Then, in 2005, they appealed to the Council of State, which rejected the Union’s request.

An increasing number of Turks are also calling for the Hagia Sophia to be reconverted to a mosque.

Recent years have seen thousands of worshippers fill the vast square outside the site every May to mark the anniversary of the Muslim conquest of the city and to rally for its reopening as a mosque. This was also highlighted when a state-sanctioned prayer ceremony was held within the Hagia Sophia’s walls during the month of Ramadan last summer.