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Photographer's Note

When I sat down to choose images to upload today, only one person had answered my question on whether I should continue with Istanbul or switch to the Pacific Northwest. So I am acceding to his wish and continuing with my Istanbul images. This brings us to Hagia Sophia, a much controversial topic in the history of the Turkish Republic.

Hagia Sophia was built as a Byzantine church. It was the largest church building of the eastern Roman Empire (the Byzantine Empire) and of the Eastern Orthodox Church until 1453, when Constantinople was conquered by the Ottomans. Mehmed the Conqueror converted it into a mosque and it served as a mosque until 1931 when it was closed for renovations. In 1935, the first Turkish President and founder of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, transformed the building into a museum. On 10 July 2020, the 1935 decision of the Council of Ministers to transform the Hagia Sophia into a museum was annulled by the Council of State, decreeing that Hagia Sophia cannot be used “for any other purpose” than being a mosque and that the Hagia Sophia was property of the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Han Foundation. The council reasoned Ottoman Sultan Mehmet II, who conquered Istanbul, deemed the property to be used by the public as a mosque without any fees and it was not within the jurisdiction of the Parliament or a ministry council to change its purpose.

So that is the political history of Hagia Sophia in a nutshell.

This is the first minaret added to the building by Mehmet the Conqueror. Since there had been a lot of blood shed during the siege of the city, he wanted the minaret to be made out of red bricks.

Exif Data:
Make: Canon
Model: Canon PowerShot SX70 HS
Software: Adobe Photoshop 22.5 (Macintosh)
Exposure Time: 1/1250
F-Stop: f/8.0
ISO Speed Ratings: 100
Focal Length: 3800/1000 mm
Date Taken: 2021-05-26 09:26
Metering Mode: Center Weighted Average
File Size: 1240 kb
GPS: 41.008078206103605, 28.980218723461523

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Additional Photos by Murat Tanyel (mcmtanyel) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 7676 W: 302 N: 16535] (62547)
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