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Erdogan Asserts Rebirth of an Islamic Turkey at Hagia Sophia

  • For some, the conversion to a mosque is the end of secularism
  • Third change in a millennium is again seen as turning point
People celebrate outside the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, on July 10.

People celebrate outside the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, on July 10.

Photographer: Ozan Kose/AFP via Getty Images

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To President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his religious conservative supporters, the reconversion of the Hagia Sophia to a mosque is a milestone in Turkey’s rebirth as a powerful, Muslim nation after a century of misguided efforts to imitate the Christian West.