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UNESCO Calls on Turkey to Present Report on Hagia Sophia by February 2022 – Reports

© REUTERS / KEMAL ASLANWorshippers attend prayers marking the Muslim festival of sacrifice Eid al-Adha at Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey, July 20, 2021.
Worshippers attend prayers marking the Muslim festival of sacrifice Eid al-Adha at Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey, July 20, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 23.07.2021
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PARIS (Sputnik) – The UNESCO World Heritage Committee has called on Turkey to present a report on the protection of Hagia Sophia by 1 February 2022, the media has reported.
The committee has once again voiced its concern over the transformation of the Hagia Sophia museum into a mosque, Agence-France Presse has reported.
Last year, Turkey annulled the 1934 decree converting Hagia Sophia into a museum, thus transforming it back into a mosque. The decision has produced negative reactions across the globe, including among Greeks who attach special historical significance to the monument.
Hagia Sophia was founded by Byzantine Emperor Justinian as a cathedral and was opened in December 537. The cathedral, considered the epitome of Byzantine architecture, was one of the world's largest buildings for over a thousand years. After the capture of Constantinople by the Ottomans and the fall of the Byzantine Empire in 1453, the cathedral was converted into a mosque, but since 1934, the building, by a decree of the founder of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, became a museum and was later included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
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