NPR

Turkey's President Converts Hagia Sophia Back Into A Mosque

Istanbul's Byzantine-era landmark has been used as a museum since 1934 and is widely regarded as a symbol of peaceful religious coexistence. A court ruling Friday revoked its museum status.

Updated at 11:05 a.m. ET

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has ordered the Hagia Sophia museum, one of Istanbul's most famous landmarks, to be converted into a mosque.

He made the announcement hours after a top court cleared the way for him to make the change.

The Hagia Sofia, a major draw for tourists, has a long and complicated history. The architectural marvel was century and then converted to a mosque after the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in 1453.

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