Religious controversy hits Istanbul landmark

As public pressure builds, deputy PM says he is "hopeful" Turkey's famous Hagia Sophia will be redesignated as mosque.

    Opened in 537AD, the Hagia Sophia was the seat of the Eastern Orthodox church for nearly a millennium. It was later converted into a mosque, and in 1931, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk had it turned into a museum, banning all overt worship.

    Now, Muslim groups in Turkey are gaining momentum in their bid to turn the world-famous Hagia Sophia back into a mosque - but some are concerned this is another instance of the government trying to push for a religious state.

    Al Jazeera's Anita McNaught reports from Istanbul.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Sentenced to death for blasphemy: Surviving Pakistan's death row

    Sentenced to death for blasphemy: Surviving Pakistan's death row

    The story of a man who spent 19 years awaiting execution reveals the power of a false blasphemy claim to destroy a life.

    A story of exile and return: From Italy to Syria and back again

    A story of exile and return: From Italy to Syria and back again

    His grandfather fled fascist Italy during WWII and found refuge in Syria. Now Alberto and his family have returned.

    The Syrian women and girls sold into sexual slavery in Lebanon

    The Syrian women and girls sold into sexual slavery in Lebanon

    Syria's refugee crisis has shone a light on sex trafficking in Lebanon, where victims are often treated as criminals.