From 1915 to 1923, the Ottoman Empire, the forerunner of modern Turkey, systematically killed more than 2 million Christians — 1.5 million Armenians and half a million Syriacs, Assyro-Chaldeans, Greeks and Maronites. During that period, half the populations of Tur Abdin and Mount Lebanon, among the Middle East’s final Christian strongholds, were slaughtered or died of famine.
To this day, the Turkish government denies this genocide. Now, what remains of the country’s Christian heritage is under attack from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The latest assault: The Islamist strongman wants to convert the Hagia Sophia, his nation’s most recognizable landmark, from a museum to a mosque. The move would all butcomplete the erasure of Turkey’s Christian heritagethat began with a genocide a century ago.
Consecrated as a Byzantine cathedral in the 6th century, the Hagia Sophia (“Holy Wisdom”) was once Christianity’s largest cathedral and the historic seat of the…
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