President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan signed a decree on July 10 opening Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia as a mosque just minutes after Turkey’s Council of State — the highest administrative court in the country — annulled a 1934 government decree that had turned it into a museum.
Erdoğan shared on his Twitter feed a copy of the decree he had signed which said the decision had been taken to hand control of the Ayasofya Mosque, as it is known in Turkish, to the country’s Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet) and reopen it for worship.
Birol Suzer thought he had been the target of a practical joke when two men came into his grocery shop and said they wanted to pay off some of his customers’ debts. But the offer was serious. They were taking part in campaign launched two months