Istanbul monastery to become mosque

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The largest Byzantium monastery in Istanbul will be converted into a mosque after its restoration next year.

The Monastery of Stoudios, also known as the İmrahor Monument, will be turned into a mosque and be titled İmrahor İlyas Bey Mosque.

“I wouldn’t like to speak as a member of a council but my personal opinion is that cultural heritage shouldn’t be reflected as an antagonistic heritage. If we reflect it like this, it will damage societies on a macro level,” said Laki Vingas, acting as representatives of the Directorate General of Foundations.

Vingas added that the issue creates grief within society, and it was not only the Greek community’s problem.“Cultural heritage is universal heritages, meaning that they are humanity’s common heritage,” he said.

İmrahor’s conversion into a mosque came at a time debate continues as to whether to reopen Hagia Sophia as a place of worship. Most recently, Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç has expressed his hope to see the Hagia Sophia as a mosque.

 

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