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Singing is banned in the Byzantine cathedral Hagia Sophia. But listen to how it would sound in the building’s extravagantly reverberant acoustics.

"The age of a supposedly secular Turkey has ended, and that nation is now firmly Islamic in character and culture. [...] Now that Hagia Sophia has been turned into a mosque, let’s not pretend that Turkey wants to be a Western nation with Western values."

"It is worth considering why so many have, for so long, cared so much about the fate of the Hagia Sophia as responses praising and condemning the decision have come in from around the world," writes Anna Bigelow.

Russian mercenaries detained in Belarus gave conflicting testimonies, some of them said they were on their way to Istanbul to see the Hagia Sophia, the head of Belarus’ Investigative Committee told Alexander Lukashenko

'Memorial to all Syrian Christians': #Syria  plans to build its own miniature Hagia Sophia

The conversion of Hagia Sophia is just the latest step in Turkey’s totalitarian turn, says @CatoFP 's @Doug_Bandow  #CatoFP 

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ICYMI: Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan offers prayers for the first time at Istanbul's Hagia Sophia since declaring the monument a mosque once again

Some of the 33 Russian mercenaries detained in Belarus told investigators they were on their way to Istanbul to see the Hagia Sophia, the head of Belarus’ Investigative Committee told President Alexander Lukashenko

The reconversion of Hagia Sophia to a mosque is indicative of President Erdogan’s combative approach to politics, @NicholasDanfort  writes. But can a culture war continue to distract Turkish voters from the country’s flagging economy?

@soliozel2  .: "With the move [to reconvert Hagia Sophia], Turkey’s sovereignty and guardianship of its Muslim heritage were presumably reasserted. The West’s lame reaction in turn fed the image of the unstoppable nature of a country that leads an Islamic civilization on the rise. "

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First Friday prayers since 1930s take place at historic Hagia Sophia site in Istanbul, after Turkish authorities ruled it could be converted into mosque

Spot the difference. Erdogan in English: Hagia Sophia's doors will be, as is the case with all our mosques, wide open to all, whether they be foreign or local, Muslim or non-Muslim. Erdogan in Arabic: Revival of Hagia Sophia is a sign towards return of freedom to AlAqsa mosque.

Hagia Sophia: UNESCO deeply regrets the decision of the Turkish authorities, made without prior discussion, and calls for the universal value of #WorldHeritage  to be preserved. Full statement:

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Turkish court clears way for Istanbul's Hagia Sophia museum, built in 6th Century, to revert to being a mosque

JUST IN: Turkey is holding its first prayer at Hagia Sophia since its re-conversion to a mosque, after over eight decades as a museum.

Official statement on Hagia Sophia, Istanbul. Hagia Sophia, part of the property “Historic Areas of Istanbul,” is inscribed on the #WorldHeritage  List as a museum. The inscription entails a number of legal commitments and obligations. More:

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The architectural jewel Hagia Sophia can be converted from museum to mosque, a Turkish court said. The change was long sought by Turkey’s president.

NEW: Istanbul’s iconic Hagia Sophia will be converted from a world-famous museum back into a mosque, a Turkish court ruled Friday.

Turkey's president is talking about turning Hagia Sophia, originally a Byzantine cathedral in the sixth century, into a working mosque again. It would fulfill a dream for President Erdogan— but threatens to set off an international furor.

JUST IN: Pope Francis says he is 'greatly saddened' over change of status of Hagia Sophia

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