Hagia Sophia (Aya Sofya) Mosque

Hagia Sophia, also known as Aya Sofya, is a historic mosque located in Istanbul, Turkey [1]. Originally built as a Byzantine cathedral in the 6th century, it was later converted into a mosque during the Ottoman Empire [1]. Known for its architectural beauty and historical significance, Hagia Sophia is a masterpiece of Byzantine architecture, featuring a massive dome, intricate mosaics, and a grand design

In 1934, under the Republic of Turkey, Hagia Sophia was transformed into a museum, aiming to preserve its historical and cultural value while making it accessible to people from all backgrounds [1]. However, in July 2020, the Turkish government decided to reconvert Hagia Sophia into a mosque, allowing regular Islamic worship to take place inside its walls [1]. This decision sparked international discussions and reactions, as it raised concerns about the preservation of its Byzantine Christian heritage and cultural significance

The transition of Hagia Sophia from a museum to a mosque has drawn attention and debate from various perspectives, including religious, cultural, and political¬† Supporters argue that it is a symbol of Turkey’s Islamic heritage and its sovereign right to determine the use of cultural sites [1]. Critics express concerns about the potential impact on its historical preservation and accessibility to diverse visitors

Hagia Sophia remains a significant landmark in Istanbul, attracting tourists and visitors from around the world who admire its architectural splendor and historical importance. It represents the rich and complex history of the city

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