Another Christian Monastery to open as a Mosque in Turkey

29 October 2020
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After the conversion of the iconic Hagia Sophia into a mosque, another famous building of Orthodox Christianity in Constantinople (Istanbul), will reopen as an Islamic place of worship, with the possibility of President Tayyip Erdogan attending, according to Turkish media.

On Friday 30/10/2020 in the Monastery of Chora, Kariye Mosque, as the Turks call it, a Muslim prayer will be held – for the first time after 72 years – after the decision of the Erdogan government to abolish its museum status.

“The Kariye Mosque in the Fatih district of Istanbul will open as a place of worship after 72 years for Friday prayers on October 30. The mosque will receive its faithful. “May Allah hear the prayers in the mosque for a long time,” wrote the head of the Directorate of Religious Affairs, Ali Erbas, on his personal Twitter account.

The presence of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan at the opening prayer at the ‘Chora Monastery’ is still open, as he did last July with the Hagia Sophia. However, there is a serious issue with the coronavirus pandemic in Istanbul, which may act as a deterrent, according to Turkish media.

The precious Christian mosaics will be covered with a “curtain” during prayer hours, while an audio system has been installed, while the carpets placed on the marble floor are turquoise, the same as those of Hagia Sophia.

The Monastery of Chora was an orthodox monastery during the Byzantine period, with unique mosaics. It was turned into a mosque in the 16th century, while from 1958 it functioned as a museum. By a decision of the Turkish Supreme Court in 2019, a government decree the structure was turned into a mosque again last August.

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