It is an ancient monument revered by different ideologies for centuries.
Turkey’s Hagia Sofia – one of the world’s most contested buildings – is creating controversy once again.
It was the largest Christian cathedral in the Eastern Roman Empire for 1,000 years.
Now, one of the busiest tourist attractions in Istanbul is a museum.
But not for much longer, if Turkey’s government gets the go-ahead to convert it back into a mosque as it was during the Ottoman Empire.
The proposal has been opposed by some secular groups as well as the head of the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Greek government and the United States.
Turkey’s highest consultative body met on Thursday and said it will announce its ruling within 15 days.
But why now and what purpose would it serve? How political is the decision?
Presenter: Laura Kyle
Yusuf Albarada – Political writer and professor at the University of Halic in Istanbul
Yannis Koutsomitis – Managing editor at Kappa News in Greece and European affairs expert
Cengiz Tomar – President of Akhmet Yassawi University in Kazakhstan and professor of history
Source: Al Jazeera News