ISTANBUL: President on Saturday rejected worldwide condemnation over 's decision to convert the Byzantine-era monument back into a , saying it represented his country's will to use its "sovereign rights". Erdogan, who critics say is chipping away at the Muslim-majority country's secular pillars, announced on Friday that Muslim prayers would begin on July 24 at the UNESCO World Heritage site. In the past, he has repeatedly called for the stunning building to be renamed as a mosque and in 2018, he recited a verse from the at Hagia Sophia. "Those who do not take a step against Islamophobia in their own countries ... attack Turkey's will to use its sovereign...Full Article
Erdogan rebuffs criticism over Hagia Sophia conversion to mosque
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