Seminariet hålls i seminarierummet på plan 3.


Converted, Contested, Protested:

The Debates on Hagia Sophia’s Challenged Status

The Hagia Sophia Church of Constantinople was converted into a mosque in 1453 and turned into a museum in 1935. Both Christians and Muslims venerate the museum as sacred, and voice demands to open the museum for religious practice. The Hagia Sophia Museum of Istanbul continues to be a locus of inter- and intra-communal debates as well as conflict with the Turkish state. Following the transformations of the museumified Hagia Sophias of Iznik (Nicaea) and Trabzon (Trebizond) into functioning mosques by the AKP government in 2011 and 2013 respectively, the debates challenging the status of the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul (Constantinople) have intensified significantly.  This paper focuses on the demands to re-open the Hagia Sophia as a mosque and the resulting debates and protests. The competitive sharing of Hagia Sophia is analysed from the perspectives of museology, cultural heritage management, and anthropology.


Tuğba Tanyeri-Erdemir Bio

Dr. Tuğba Tanyeri-Erdemir is the deputy director of the Center for Science and Society and a lecturer in the graduate program in Architectural History at Middle East Technical University, Ankara.  Her research interests include ethnographic investigations of converted historic religious buildings, cultural heritage management of multi-layered sacred sites, re-utilization and museumification of religious heritage.  She has participated in numerous international interdisciplinary research projects.  Most recently she was a team member of “Antagonistic Tolerance: A Comparative Analysis of Competitive Sharing of Religious Sites” project funded by Wenner-Gren and National Science Foundation and was the leader of the Turkish team of FP7 Project “RELIGARE:  Religious Diversity and Secular Models in Europe.” She received a “Young Scholar Award” of the Science Academy, Turkey in 2014, for which she currently conducts a research project titled “From the Hagia Sophia to the Hacıbektaş Museums:  The Effects of Secular Museumification Practices on Sacred Sites.”