Turkey delays decision on turning Hagia Sophia into mosque

A Turkish court has delayed a decision on whether the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul can be converted into a mosque, the BBC reports.

The Council of State – Turkey’s highest administrative body – said it would make a ruling within 15 days, after a hearing lasting just 17 minutes.

The 1,500 year old Unesco World Heritage site was originally a cathedral before becoming a mosque and then a museum in the 1930s.

It may become a mosque again if the court approves the move.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for the change during an election rally last year.

Islamists in Turkey have long called for it to be converted, but secular opposition members have opposed the move. The proposal has prompted international criticism, from religious and political leaders worldwide.

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