After 86 years of being considered a museum, "Hagia Sophia" opened its doors to worship, after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed a decision Friday to return it to a mosque in front of the Muslims, shortly after the Turkish judiciary issued a ruling canceling the 1934 cabinet decision to transform the Hagia Sophia mosque into a museum .

This step is added to the list of changes similar to religious sites that have taken place throughout the ages. Here are some of the most prominent of these transformations:

Aya Sofia

The edifice, which was classified by UNESCO as a church, was built by UNESCO as a church, but was converted - after its purchase - into a mosque after the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople "Istanbul" in 857 AH / 1453AD.

The edifice has used a mosque for 481 years since Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror conquered the city of Constantinople "Istanbul", and it was converted into a museum in 1934 during the reign of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, and the Hagia Sophia is considered one of the most important architectural monuments in the history of the Middle East.

In his speech to Al-Jazeera Net, the journalist who is interested in Christian affairs Abdullah Al-Tahawi said that Islamic jurisprudence respects the contract but did not provide an absolute position towards converting churches to mosques. Sophia to Jama ', but after he bought it from the monks, it became the property of Muslims.

Al-Tahawi added that the international context is changing, and in the past there were no international references governing jurisprudence like international law, and that the prevailing pattern of relationship in each era is what generates the appropriate jurisprudential response.

He pointed out that the conflict between Islam and Christianity in the Middle Ages was religious and violent, and the nations were not exonerated from this type of conflict that still exists, and the moment of the Crusades and control of religious places was strongly present at that time, and "Hagia Sophia" was a symbol of independence and establishment Its transformation is not an ordinary moment, but a "founding moment for a national and national group found in this place."

Mosques of Greece

In a previous interview with Anadolu Agency, Nawal Kounouk Halajoglu Academy at Marmara Turkish University said that Greece includes about 20 thousand Ottoman buildings, including many mosques, and that many of those buildings require immediate intervention to restore them.

"For example, I walked around the alleys of the Greek city of Thessaloniki, an alley, and was able to register only 36 Ottoman waterways in the area surrounding the house where the founder of the Turkish Republic Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was born, and I also found a mosque in my mind Pasha, from which only his minaret remains, It was converted into a house inhabited by a Greek family, in addition to the Dmitoka Chalabi Mosque of Muhammad Pasha, which was devoured by the fire and is now left to face its fate, as well as a group of hospices, schools and buildings dating back to the 14th century AD.

Hallajoglu pointed out that the Greek government does not pay attention to historical Ottoman buildings, and that some of them are being used in an inappropriate manner, how many of the mosques use a kindergarten, and how many bathrooms use a disco hall, and those mosques were painted in different colors that distort Ottoman Turkish architecture.

"The Khalil Pasha Mosque in the city of Koula (north-eastern Greece) is using a kindergarten today. In Rhodes, the Ali Pasha Mosque is painted in red, and all domes in the baths of the historical island of Muddali have been painted in different colors. And if in Turkey we did the same for Roman archeological buildings Or Greek for the revolt of Europe, "as she put it.

Hallajoglu pointed out that Turkey has witnessed the opening of dozens of churches in recent years, noting that Greece does not grant its Muslim citizens the tolerance that Christians receive in Turkey.


The Ketchaoua Mosque was built around 1612 and expanded in 1794, making it one of the country's largest mosques, but a year after the colonization of the country (1830-1962) the French converted it to a Catholic church in the name of Saint Philip. The first Liturgy of the Teacher was organized on December 24, 1832.

In 1838, the edifice was transformed into the Metropolitan Cathedral and expanded by removing most parts of the old mosque.

On the independence of Algeria in 1962, the edifice was converted to a mosque again, and the first Friday prayer was held after 130 years. It has since been renewed with Turkish funding, according to Agence France-Presse.


The Selimiye Mosque in northern Nicosia was originally a cathedral named after the Hagia Sophia, and was built by French builders who accompanied the Crusaders.

The landmark was built in the 13th century during the rule of the Lusignan dynasty on the island in the eastern Mediterranean. The cathedral was converted into a mosque after the Ottomans seized Nicosia in 1570.

In turn, St. Nicholas Cathedral in Famagusta, north of the island, was built in the 14th century during the Lusignan era, which is the most striking example of Gothic engineering in Cyprus.

It was converted into a mosque called "Lala Mustafa Pasha" (Lala .. meaning educator) with the control of the coastal city by the Ottoman Sultanate in 1571.


The Attarin Mosque in Alexandria was a church dating back to 370 AD, bearing the name of Saint Athanasius, which is an important face in the Coptic Orthodox Church.

The religious teacher was converted to a mosque with the arrival of Muslims in the seventh century AD, and named after its location in the old spice market in Alexandria. During Napoleon's expedition, explorers believed that Alexander the Great was buried inside the mosque in a green coffin.


Before the Byzantines built a church there was at the site of the Great Omari Mosque in downtown Beirut.

After the coming of the Muslims, it was converted into a mosque in 14 AH / 635 CE, bearing the name of the second caliph Umar ibn Al-Khattab.

But when the Frankish Crusaders took control of Beirut at the beginning of the 12th century, they converted the mosque into a church, before Salah al-Din al-Ayyubi regained control of the city in 1187 and transformed the teacher into a mosque again.

The Crusaders took control of Beirut again in 1197, turning the landmark into a cathedral. Finally, the Mamluks extended their control of the city in 1291 and returned it to a mosque, and the matter remained the same since then.


The Mosque of Córdoba, known as the Mezquita, was in the Andalusia region of southern Spain, the holiest Islamic religious site in the West during the Umayyad period in the 10th and 11th centuries.

The teacher was converted to a Catholic church since the Christians took control of the city in 1236, then a cathedral was built inside the site.

The landmark is one of the most prominent examples of Andalusian engineering, and the mosque-cathedral was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1984.

The Umayyads built the Mosque of Cordoba in the eighth century AD before turning into a church after the expulsion of Muslims from Spain after the fall of Andalusia (897 AH / 1492 CE).

Roman columns were used in the construction, some of which were already located in the same place, some of which were dedicated by the rulers of the Iberian provinces, and ivory, gold, silver and copper were used for the design of mosaics and decorations, and the scented wood panels were linked with gold nails, and were distinguished by red marble columns.

The mosque was built during about two and a half centuries, starting from the year (92 AH), in Cordoba, the Umayyad capital of Andalusia, and Muslims and Christians in Cordoba participated in the same place, some of which were a university and the other was a church, but Abdel-Rahman Al-Dakhel bought the part of the church and added it to the mosque in exchange for rebuilding what Demolished from the churches at the time of entering Andalusia.

And in the year (340 AH), Abd al-Rahman al-Nasir began building a large minaret of the Jami Mosque, and later al-Mansur added expansion and interested in building. When Cordoba fell to the Castilians in the year 633 AH / 1236 CE, they converted the mosque to a church that they called "Santa Maria the Great".

Since then, the appearance of the mosque has gradually turned into its current image, and the Castilians added to it some increases that changed its features, but did not change the essence of the building.

But the fundamental change occurred in 1523 when the Bishopric of Cordoba demolished a large part of the expansion of Abd al-Rahman al-Awsat and built a cathedral.