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


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