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Pope's Turkish Visit Renews Aya Sofia Dispute

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Pope's Turkish Visit Renews Aya Sofia Dispute

World

Pope's Turkish Visit Renews Aya Sofia Dispute

Pope's Turkish Visit Renews Aya Sofia Dispute

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/6556422/6556423" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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A lingering dispute centers over whether an ancient Byzantine landmark should be a mosque, a cathedral or a museum. Debate over the status of Aya Sofia has been re-ignited by Pope Benedict's trip to Turkey.

Several days before the pope's visit, police arrested dozens of Turkish nationalists who had stormed the ancient building and prayed beneath its massive domes.

Turkish nationalists say it will be a provocation if the pope prays in what was once the most important cathedral in eastern orthodox Christendom.