Will tourists be able to see this awe-inspiring space again?
It’s a UNESCO World Heritage site, the nation’s biggest tourist destination, and the contested religious center of both Christian and Muslim empires.
Now, Turkey has moved to convert the 1,500-year-old Hagia Sophia (above), a museum since 1934, into a mosque. The awe-inspiring edifice, built as an Orthodox cathedral, has been a target for Islamists seeking to restore it to centuries of use as a Muslim worship site.
It is unclear whether the site will remain open to visitors or at what frequency, writes Nat Geo's Kristin Romey. On Friday, the Hagia Sophia hosted a call to prayer, just hours after a judge cleared the way for the shift.
UNESCO said it wasn’t consulted. The Eastern