The Formal Opening of Constantinople's Church of St. Saviour in Chora as a Mosque Sparks Controversy

Kariye Church

The Foreign Ministry has condemned the recent conversion of a former Byzantine church in Constantinople into a mosque, stating that it "insults its character as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage monument belonging to humanity."

After four years of designation as a Muslim house of prayer, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan presided over the reopening ceremony of the Church of St. Saviour in Chora, known as Kariye in Turkish, as a mosque remotely on Monday.

The Formal Opening of Constantinople's Church of St. Saviour in Chora as a Mosque Sparks Controversy 1

The Foreign Ministry has criticized Turkish authorities' decision, seeing it as a challenge to the international community and a violation of the church's status as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site.

“The preservation of the universal character of monuments and the observance of international standards for the protection of religious and cultural heritage is a clear international obligation that binds all states,” the ministry emphasized.

The Church of St. Saviour in Chora, renowned for its intricate mosaics and frescoes, has a rich history dating back to the fourth century, with its current form originating from the 11th-12th centuries.

t25 kariye camii 79 yil sonra 777
Kariye Mosque was opened for worship after 79 years

During Ottoman rule, the structure served as a mosque. In 1945, it was converted into a museum. However, its formal conversion back into a mosque was delayed due to ongoing restoration efforts.

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