Presidential decree issued to turn Chora Church into mosque


After Hagia Sophia, Turkish authorities issued a new presidential decree on Friday morning to re-convert the Byzantine Greek Orthodox Church of the Holy Saviour in Chora into a mosque.

The change in its status was passed in December 2019 but the decision of the State Council of Turkey had not been implemented, until today.

Chora, which had been turned into the Kariye Museum after WWII and was then extensively restored, is covered with some of the finest Byzantine mosaics and frescoes.

Originally built in the 4th century, the church was comprehensively rebuilt around 1077-81 and again after a partial collapse following an earthquake early in the 12th century.

The church is registered as an Unesco heritage site.