The Byzantines commissioned it as a Greek Orthodox cathedral. The Ottomans conquered it and turned it into an ornate mosque. Then, secular revolutionaries converted it into a monument to two faiths. Its ownership and usage have become a perennial political debate.
The scenes in Iran mirror the coronavirus outbreaks in Wuhan, China, northern Italy, and now, New York City. At least 2,234 people have died in Iran as of today, according to the government — although outside observers believe the number is far higher.
Turkey extended a deadline for Syrians to update their registration cards or move until Oct. 30. But many say they’ve run into problems getting their papers in order, and registrations in larger cities, including Istanbul, have been completely blocked.
Reports of deportations to Syria, denied by the Turkish government, have sent a wave of fear through Istanbul’s Syrian community — many of whom say they could face recruitment by militants, aerial bombardment or torture in regime prisons if they return to Syria.