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Erdogan's order making Hagia Sophia mosque brings cheers, mourning

While many pious Turks and some Muslims throughout the world celebrated the decision to revert the world heritage site to its pre-Ataturk status, others warned of the move's potential to create further domestic polarization.
People gather to celebrate outside the Hagia Sophia museum on July 10, 2020 in Istanbul after a top Turkish court revoked the sixth-century Hagia Sophia's status as a museum, clearing the way for it to be turned back into a mosque. - The Council of State, the country's highest administrative court which on July 2 debated a case brought by a Turkish NGO, cancelled a 1934 cabinet decision and ruled the UNESCO World Heritage site would be reopened to Muslim worshipping. The sixth-century Istanbul building -- a

Crowds brandishing Turkish flags and shouting “Allahu akbar” — God is great — began forming outside the Hagia Sophia, an icon of Christian Orthodoxy revered the world over, today to celebrate its imminent conversion from a museum back to a mosque.

The celebrations began after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a passionate advocate of making the Hagia Sophia a mosque once again, issued an executive decree transferring the management of the 1,500-year-old Byzantine structure from the Culture and Tourism Ministry to the Religious Affairs Directorate. 

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