The State Council has completed the documentation process. The sentence, scheduled for this morning, postponed by two weeks. Rumors of "pressure" on the Ankara government. But Erdogan wants to hold the official ceremony on July 15th, on the fourth anniversary of the failed coup.
Istanbul (AsiaNews / agencies) - This morning after a lightning hearing lasting only 17 minutes, a Turkish court has decided to postpone the controversial decision on the transformation of Hagia Sophia into a mosque. The sentence is expected within the next two weeks. The Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I also intervened recently on the matter, warning of teh risk of conflict between Christians and Muslims in case of conversion to Islamic worship, while the idea of a sharing of the building proposed by the Armenian patriarch has fallen on deaf ears.
After completing the acquisition of the documents, the State Council - the highest in terms of administration - said that the verdict will be issued "within 15 days". Some sources report that the "postponement" is due to last minute the international "pressures" on the Ankara government. Therefore, the fate of the historic building in Istanbul remains dormant, for centuries a cathedral, then transformed into a mosque after the capture of Constantinople in 1453, finally converted into a museum by the first President Kemal Ataturk, father of modern Turkey.
The tension around the building had escalated following the decision, supported by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who made nationalism and Islam his weapons to maintain power, to recite an Islamic prayer inside. In the days that followed, a survey was published stating that 73% of Turks would favor transformation into a mosque.
According to Turkish media, the government could keep Hagia Sophia open to tourists, while converting it into a place of worship as is the case for the Blue Mosque, which stands directly opposite the former basilica. Sources in Hurriyet say that the day scheduled for the official ceremony should be July 15, coinciding with the fourth anniversary of the failed coup.