Turkey’s highest administrative court has issued a ruling that paves the way for the government to convert Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia from a museum back into a mosque. The ruling annulled a 1934 government decree that turned the UNESCO Word Heritage Site, and Istanbul’s most iconic landmark, into a museum. But Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan pushed to restore its status as a mosque. He said that international pressure to keep it a museum was a violation of Turkey’s national sovereignty. The Russian Orthodox Church has called the move unacceptable.
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