On July 2, the Council of State of Turkey is expected to rule on the request to annul the presidential decree that turned Hagia Sophia into a museum in 1934, Law and Order reported.
Turkey wants the revocation of the decision of the Council of Ministers of November 24, 1934, by which Hagia Sophia was turned from a mosque into a museum.
At that date, Hagia Sophia no longer functioned as a mosque by Mustafa Kemal’s decision.
It is recalled that a few days ago, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan ordered a change in the status of the Hagia Sophia as he allegedly proposed that it be officially designated a mosque, but still allow tourists to visit.
According to a recent report in the Turkish daily Hurriyet, speaking to his party’s Central Committee on Wednesday, the Turkish president said: “Hagia Sophia as a mosque can continue to receive tourists, as is the case with the Blue Mosque. That is why only our nation will decide.”
According to the same publication, Erdoğan asked his executives to do the relevant preparation. In fact, he called for the issue to be addressed with particular sensitivity and not to rush.
The State Council prosecutor however is asking for the case to be dismissed, stating that the use of Hagia Sophia as a museum falls within the discretion of the state and that no violation occurred during its conversion into a museum in 1934. However, the prosecutor’s opinion is not binding on the Council of State, which is why the 10th Division, which is dealing with the case, decided to reconsider the request to change the status of the Hagia Sophia in a mosque, appointing a judge for it for July 2.
Hagia Sophia was built in 537 but turned into a mosque following the Ottoman capture of Constantinople May 29, 1453. It was then turned into a museum in 1935 shortly after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and the establishment of Turkish Republic.