Istanbul's Chora Museum to open for Muslim prayers following Hagia Sophia
Istanbul's ancient Chora Museum will be opened for Muslim prayers, the Official Gazette reported on August 21, weeks following the first mass prayers held in the iconic Hagia Sophia in decades. Built as a church by Byzantines, Chora was turned into a museum in 1945, a status that the president annulled in 2019.
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Istanbul's Chora Museum will be opened for Muslim prayers, the Official Gazette reported on August 21, a few weeks after the iconic Hagia Sophia held its first mass Friday prayers in decades.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had already signed off on cancelling a 1945 decree that granted Chora Mosque's status as a museum and an annex in 2019.
The 2019 annulment of museum status took Chora out of the property of the Education Ministry, transferring it to the Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet).
A separate decree to allow worship in Chora Mosque was released on August 21, although no date has been set for the first prayer.
Built by Byzantines as a church in the 11th century, Chora was converted into a mosque during the Ottoman era circa 16th century.
The ancient building is known for numerous mosaics that have remained intact through the centuries, perhaps the best known of which depicts Christ in the lunette over the doorway to the esonarthex.Zeitgeist Turkey | Episode 14: Ankara's hardline domestic policies and the fate of relations with the West