Newest video release regarding Coronavirus. Watch this “How the Hagia Sophia became Turkey’s latest political battleground | DW News” video below:
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wants to turn Istanbul’s world-famous tourist site into a mosque. He is trying to score points with Turkish voters, but his plans have encountered considerable resistance.
The Hagia Sophia is the symbol of Istanbul and Turkey’s most popular tourist attraction. Every year, millions of visitors take in its gigantic brick dome and elaborate frescoes, which have earned the building UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site status.
But the Hagia Sophia is more than just an architectural masterpiece: It has always been a political symbol, as well. The monumental structure was built by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian in the sixth century A.D. When the Ottomans conquered Constantinople in 1453, Sultan Mehmed II immediately converted the cathedral into a mosque. The founder of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, utilized the church for another act with symbolic significance: In 1935 he turned the Hagia Sophia into a museum, which conveyed the message that modern Turkey was a secular country.
Now, the current Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is also planning on making symbolic capital out of the building, which is situated in…..(read more)