Ataturk's Decision to Convert Hagia Sophia into a Museum

This presidential decision signed by Turkey's founding president Kemal Ataturk and his cabinet members converted the Hagia Sophia from a mosque into a museum. The decision cites a letter from the Ministry of Education of the time arguing that said conversion would "make the entire Orient happy" and "gift humanity a new site of knowledge."  The Ministry of Education's letter proposing the conversion into a museum, which the presidential decision cites and upon which it is based, also argues that the mosque has no waqf status–despite being used by Ottoman sultans–due to its status as "an artifact from the Byzantines."  

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