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Erdogan plays out Islamic 'Reconquista' with Hagia Sophia as backdrop

The reconversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque is a power move by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that betrays not only domestic but regional and even global ambitions.
A man flashes the V for Victory hand sign and waves a flag outside the Hagia Sophia museum in Istanbul on July 10, 2020 as people gather to celebrate 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 t

The reconversion of Hagia Sophia, a symbol of Istanbul and a marvel of Byzantine art, into a mosque is a historic moment. The controversial move, put in motion by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's decree, could fairly be seen as the Turkish Reconquista.

Istanbul was Constantinopole in 1453 when it was conquered by the Muslim-Turkish Ottomans under Mehmed II, and the East Roman (Byzantine) Empire ceased to exist. Some 40 years later, Catholic monarchs Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon conquered Granada, ending the only Muslim kingdom in Europe in what became known as the "Reconquista." 

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