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The Debate

Back to a mosque: Erdogan's reconversion of Hagia Sophia

By: François PICARD Follow | Charles WENTE

Why now? Turkey's president is ordering a return to tradition for what's much more than a tourist attraction, but a monument for the ages: after decades of disputes, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has chosen to reconvert Istanbul's Hagia Sophia from a museum to a mosque. The move reverses a 1935 decision by the founder of secular Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. François Picard's panel discusses the political timing at home and abroad where it's not just neighbouring Greece and its Orthodox Christians who are up in arms. 


Is the reconversion of Hagia Sophia a nod to Turkey's past glory as head of the Ottoman Empire?

Guest booking: Imen Mellaz. 


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