Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan issued a decision decision to convert the sixth-century Chora Museum into a mosque after 75 years of turning it into a museum. By this provocative decision, Erdogan threatens international peace and coexistence of civilizations. Such decision comes one month after the conversion of the Hagia Sophia museum, which was originally a church, into a mosque.
The Chora Church was built in sixth-century Byzantine Empire. In the 16th century, during the Ottoman era, the church was converted into a mosque; it became a museum in 1945, and in 2020 it is being reconverted to a mosque.
The interior of the building is covered with some of the oldest and finest surviving Byzantine mosaics and frescoes; they were uncovered and restored after the building was secularized and turned into a museum.
What is surprising is that the Turkish State Council, the same court that issued its ruling, that Chora is a museum returns and issued a different ruling in November of 2019 to annul its ruling issued in 1945, just as It happened in Hagia Sophia, and this indicates that the ruling is political and directed, and it was based on Erdogan s desire and that all Turkish authorities are in his hands. It became clear that such illegal and irresponsible behavior aim to gain supporters and to cover up his failure internally and externally, after his popularity declined and deteriorated with the deteriorating political and economic conditions, high unemployment rates, and the depreciation of the Turkish lira to unprecedented levels. In my opinion, Erdogan s decision to transfer the Chora Museum into a mosque is an attack on religious freedom and coexistence, and is simply illegal because it violates the UNESCO decision that declared the Chora Museum a world heritage site, and is a violation of the UNESCO Convention, which Turkey signed in 1972.
The majority of the Turkish people receive Erdogan s decisions in this regard with indifference knowing his motives and dream to revive the Ottoman caliphate that entices his ill imagination. Turkey will get rid of his dictatorial regime and the world will not keep watching him threatening international peace and security without taking an action. Therefore, we call on the international community to impose economic sanctions on Turkey, until Erdogan stops supporting terrorism, violating international law and shows due respect for human civilization