September 18, 2023
The Turkish government has decided to start long-term maintenance and repairs of the former Orthodox Christian cathedral of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, which was converted into a mosque, after scientists discovered significant damage both inside and outside the 6th century Byzantine monument.
Some experts are discussing a lengthy project that might take decades to complete.
However, there is concern among some circles in Turkey who suspect that there may be political expediency behind this decision, so that Hagia Sophia is closed for a long period of time and does not function as a mosque.
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