Erdogan rebuffs condemnation of Hagia Sophia’s change to a mosque
In the face of international condemnation, Turkish President Recep Erdogan announced on Friday that Muslim prayers would begin on July 24 at the colossal world heritage Hagia Sophia museum. He said the conversion to a mosque was within Turkey’s sovereign right. Built 1,500 years as an Orthodox Christian cathedral, the building was converted into a mosque after the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in 1453. In 1934, the secular Turkish government turned it into a landmark museum.