Chora Museum and New Gas Field: Turkey

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Chora museum has been recently converted into a mosque by the Turkish President recently. After Hagia Sophia conversion into a mosque, Chora museum is only the second one to get converted into a mosque.

Also, recently a new gas field has been found by the Turkey in Black Sea.

Overview

  • Chora Museum was initially built as a church in 534 AD during the early Byzantine period.
  • The internal walls pillars and domes were covered with mosaics and frescoes showing scenes from biblical stories in the 11th century.
  • This church was seized and turned into a mosque in 1511 by the Ottomans (1453) after the conquest of Constantinople (capital city of the Roman Empire) .
  • In the year 1945, it got converted into a museum.
  • In Turkish, Chora is also known as Kariye, the mediaeval Church of the Holy Saviour in Chora.

Reasons for the Reconversion

  • Turkish President՚s pro-Islamic policies, emphasising Turkey՚s Ottoman history along with domestic achievements over Western ideas and influences.
  • Turkish President is trying to become the leader of the Muslim by adopting pro-Islamic policies.
  • The Turkish President also put its nose on Kashmir issue by taking anti-India stands.
  • The reconversion can also be seen as a counter to USA՚s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel as the reconversion of mosque would gain support from the Arab countries for Turkey.

Gas Field in Black Sea

  • The biggest ever natural gas field, a 320 billion cubic metre in the Black Sea has been discovered by Turkey. This gas field is likely to become functional in 2023.
  • This discovery is likely to transform Turkey՚s dependence on Russia, Iran, and Azerbaijan for energy imports. Also, Turkey looks determined to become a net energy exporter.
  • Turkey at present is having strain relations with Greece over exploration of natural resources in Mediterranean Sea.
  • A reduction in Turkey՚s energy import bill is likely to boost its finances since Turkey is having a chronic current account deficit. This would further help the currency of Turkey, Lira to recover against the dollar.

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