An association that aims to introduce the Aegean province of İzmir to Russian speakers recently launched its website. The Russian Speakers Friendship and Solidarity Association (RUSDER) website will provide information about local cultural events and archaeological sites in Russian, also bringing together the local Russian diaspora.
American academic Thomas Whittemore was approved by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk to restore the Hagia Sophia's mosaics in 1931. Although the space opened as a museum in three years, the restoration went on for another 15.
Seyfi Dursunoğlu, better know as his drag character "Huysuz Virjin," passed away on July 17 at the age of 87. Dursunoğlu was most famous for portraying character “Huysuz Virjin,” a transvestite singer. In 2007, he announced that he could no longer portray “Huysuz Virjin" due to censorship of Turkey's broadcasting watchdog RTÜK.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque will not impact Turkish-Russian relations. Petrov said that Moscow regards this as an "internal affair" of Turkey.
Part of Istanbul's ancient city walls collapsed in the historic Sulukule neighborhood. The collapse is the second in the past two months, with another part crumbling on May 3.
A 190-year-old Armenian church in the northern province of Çorum is being used as a storage space as owner cannot obtain permission to make alterations. The church is believed to be constructed by a large Armenian family who lived in the area until the early 20th century.
Prominent Turkish author Adalet Ağaoğlu died on July 14 at the age of 91. Thousands of tweets were shared to pay respects to the renowned author, as politicians also shared messages of condolences. A human rights defender, Ağaoğlu's writings focused on social issues and their impacts on individuals.
A jeweler in the southeastern province of Kahramanmaraş embroidered masks with gold. A local professional chamber chair said that they thought a regular mask created a visual disaccord in a wedding.
An ancient diadem, sarcophagus and some ceramics were recovered during a construction in the western city of Izmir. The remains were dated back to some 2,000 years ago.
Mois Gabay writes: In my childhood years, I remember wandering in the streets of Beyoğlu alongside my father. Pera was living its last days. At the end of the street near the French Consulate, lay “Tailor Ragıp.” Mr. Ragıp was famous for making trousers that would fit you perfectly. Tailor Blum had trained him.
A Kurdish poet and musician who was killed in the 1993 Sivas Massacre, Hasret Gültekin's statue was erected in the yard of a cemevi in the eastern province of Dersim, along with a monument commemorating the 33 other intellectuals who died in the attack. The cemevi president said that the '93 massacre was a milestone in Alevi history.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan signed a decree on July 10 opening Istanbul's Hagia Sophia as a mosque after Turkey’s Council of State annulled a 1934 government decree that had turned it into a museum. Greece said the Turkish court's ruling was an "open provocation" to the civilized world, while the Russian Orthodox Church said the decision could lead to even greater divisions.
UNESCO said on July 9 that any change in the status of Istanbul's Hagia Sophia museum may have to be reviewed by its World Heritage committee. The statement came a day before Turkey’s Council of State — the highest administrative court in the country — will publish its decision regarding a request to turn the sixth-century structure into a mosque.
A 19-year-old woman in the southern province of Adana sought help from law enforcement to evade a forced marriage and succeeded. State-run Anadolu Agency reported that she contacted the security guards at the venue, who then called the police.
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians, has said that if the Turkish government decides to turn Hagia Sophia into a mosque, this move risks turning Christians against Muslims. Bartholomew's statements come two days before Turkey’s Council of State will give a decision regarding the issue.