Holy cities

S Arabia to close 8 Turkish schools in country by end of 2021

The Saudi Arabian administration has decided to terminate the activities of 8 Turkish schools affiliated to the Ministry of National Education operating in the capital Riyadh and other provinces at the end of the 2020-2021 academic year, according to information gathered by diplomatic sources on April 28. 

Restoration of Hagia Sophia sets example for world, says official

The restoration works being carried out using the most advanced techniques in Istanbul's landmark Hagia Sophia have set a clear example for the world to see a work of exceptional precision, keeping the cultural heritage of different beliefs and civilizations intact, the provincial director of culture and tourism has said.

Hagia Sophia imam resigns

The imam at Istanbul's iconic Hagia Sophia mosque announced on April 8 he is stepping down from his duties to return to academic studies.

Mehmet Boynukalın, whose assignment at the nearly 1,500-year-old Hagia Sophia was temporary, asked to leave the post, and his request was accepted.

EC culture committee slams Hagia Sophia move

The decision on Friday by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe's Culture Committee condemning Turkey's move to convert Hagia Sophia in Istanbul from a museum into a mosque was hailed by the Greek delegation head, Dora Bakoyannis, as Europe's response to Turkey's "systematic violations of democratic principles and values."