Turkey’s Constitutional Court rejected a plea to turn historic Hagia Sophia into a Muslim prayer house.
According to Turkish news agency Anadolu, the Constitutional Court rejected the appeal made by the Association of Historical Monuments and Environment, who demanded that Hagia Sophia becomes open for Muslim worship on “non-competence” grounds, with the Court ruling it was not time to allow any change.
In its plea, the Turkish Heritage Association had claimed that barring prayers at Hagia Sophia was breaching the right to freedom of expression.
Hagia Sophia for almost 1,000 years was the largest Greek Orthodox Christian church in the world.
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 and tried again in 2005 when the plea was again rejected.