Discovery of Natural Gas Exposes Turkey’s Political Rifts

September 01, 2020

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s announcement on August 21 that Turkey had discovered some 320 billion cubic meters of natural gas in the Black Sea has exposed the acutely divided domestic political environment in the country. Whereas the pro-Erdogan camp hailed the development as an...

Is Hagia Sophia Merely a Place of Worship?

July 21, 2020

Hagia Sophia, with a history of 1,500 years hosting different religions, will now be reconverted from a museum into a mosque. This recent shift after a Turkish court decree has sparked extensive debate internationally, and we are now seeing political maneuvers heating up fault lines that divide...

The Political Implications of the Hagia Sophia Reconversion

July 20, 2020

On July 10, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan issued a decree reconverting the Hagia Sophia museum into a mosque, thus realizing a long-cherished dream of conservative currents in Turkish society. Originally built as a cathedral by the Romans, the Hagia Sophia functioned as Istanbul’s main mosque...

Why Making Hagia Sophia a Mosque Again Is Good News

July 14, 2020

The reaction to the decision by Turkish authorities to turn Hagia Sophia from a museum back into a mosque has been illuminating. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is accused of playing religious politics. If so, he is not alone. When Pope Francis describes himself as “pained” by the news...