In pics | After Hagia Sophia, another former Byzantine church is converted into mosque in Turkey After the decision by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Istanbul’s Church of St. Saviour in Chora, known as Kariye in Turkish, was handed to the country's religious authority to open the structure for Muslim prayers.
August 22, 2020 / 02:11 PM IST
On August 21, Turkey formally converted former Byzantine church into a mosque, a month after Istanbul’s landmark Hagia Sophia turned into a Muslim house of prayer, drawing praise from the faithful and international opposition. (Image: AP)
After the decision by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Istanbul’s Church of St. Saviour in Chora, known as Kariye in Turkish, was handed to Turkey’s religious authority to open the structure for Muslim prayers. Several Istanbul residents rushed to the building on August 21, some hoping to hold prayers there. (Image: AP)
People visit St. Savior in Chora church, known as Kariye in Turkish, in Istanbul, on August 21. (Image: AP)
With the Hagia Sophia, the decision to transform the Chora back into a mosque is seen as geared to consolidate the conservative and religious support base of Erdogan's ruling party at a time when his popularity is sagging amid an economic downturn. (Image: AP)
The church, situated near the ancient city walls, is famed for its elaborate mosaics and frescoes. The structure served as a mosque during the Ottoman rule before being transformed into a museum in 1945. A court decision last year cancelled the building’s status as a museum, paving the way for Erdogan’s decision to formally convert it into a mosque. (Image: AP)