Recently, the Turkish President reconverted the Chora museum into a mosque.
This is the second museum after Hagia Sophia to be converted into a mosque. Turkey has also found a new gas field in Black Sea.
It was built initially as a church in 534 AD, during the early Byzantine period.
In the 11th century, its internal walls, pillars and domes were covered with mosaics and frescoes showing scenes from biblical stories.
After the conquest of Constantinople (capital city of the Roman Empire) by the Ottomans (1453), the church was seized and turned into a mosque in 1511.
In 1945, it was converted into a museum.
Chora is also known as Kariye in Turkish and the mediaeval Church of the Holy Saviour in Chora.
The reconversion can be seen as Turkish President’s pro islamic policies, where he emphasises Turkey’s Ottoman history and domestic achievements over Western ideas and influences.
By adopting pro Islamic policies the Turkish President aims to become leader of the Muslim world.
The Turkish President has also taken anti-India positions especially on Kashmir to bolster its own position in the Muslim world.
It can also be seen as a counter to USA’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Jerusalem which has a significant population of Arab-muslims who are becoming more and more hostile because of the USA's recent stand on Israel-Palestine issue. This step of conversion of mosques would gain support of Arab countries for Turkey.
Gas Field in Black Sea:
Recently, Turkey has found its biggest ever (a 320 billion cubic metre) natural gas field discovery in Black Sea.
The gas field will become functional in 2023.
Turkey is determined to become a net energy exporter. The discovery has a potential to transform Turkey’s dependence on Russia, Iran and Azerbaijan for energy imports.
Currently Turkey is having a chronic current account deficit, any reduction in Turkey’s energy import bill would boost its finances. \
It will also help the Lira (Currency of Turkey) to recover against the dollar.
Currently Turkey is also having strained relations with its neighbour Greece over exploration of natural resources in Mediterranean sea.