Turkey: The historic Byzantine Monastery of Chora in Istanbul will function as a mosque from today

President Erdoğan will connect directly with the Monastery of Chora

Screenshot 7 1 MOSQUE, Turkey

Today, the Byzantine church of the Chora Monastery in Istanbul is scheduled to function again as a mosque, Turkish media reports.

The state-run Anadolu news agency reported that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is set to attend a ceremony to mark the completion of the General Directorate of Endowments' projects for the preservation of 201 historical monuments, including the Chora Monastery.

According to the planning, during a ceremony at the conference center of the presidential palace in Ankara, President Erdogan will connect directly with the Hora Monastery.

Previous reports placed the opening date for the operation of the historic Byzantine church with priceless mosaics around February 23, however the General Directorate of Endowments of Turkey denied them, announcing that the Monastery of Hora will function as a mosque in May.

The projects lasted four years.

The church of Agios Sotiros in Chora, the catholicon of what was once a monastic complex, dates from the 6th century AD, while its unique mosaics and frescoes were created in the 14th century, from 1305 to 1320, during the reign of Palaiologos.

It is the monument with the most elaborate Byzantine mosaics preserved in Constantinople, together with Hagia Sophia and the Monastery of Pammakaristos, which also functions as a mosque under the name of Fethiye. Hagia Sophia was also dedicated to Muslim religious worship in 2020.

The Monastery of Chora was converted into a mosque in 1511, 58 years after the Fall of the City. However, by decision of the Turkish Cabinet, in 1945 it became a museum.

After this decision, specialists from the USA carried out a huge work of restoration and maintenance of the mosaics and frescoes, peeling off the plasters that covered them. The work, which started in 1948, was completed ten years later, in 1958.

But in 2019 Turkey's Council of State (Danistay) overturned the 1945 decision and, a year later, President Erdogan announced that the monument would once again function as a mosque.

Source: protothema.gr