Hagia Sophia is among the world’s most important symbolic structures, and since 1985, the United Nations (UN) related unit has been on the World Heritage list of the Education, Science and Culture Organization (UNESCO).
For this reason, UNESCO published a statement on Hagia Sophia after the decision (on July 10, 2020).
It was expressed in the statement that the status of Hagia Sophia was changed without any negotiation, and it was noted that the fact that Hagia Sophia, which is an architectural masterpiece and a museum as a unique example of the interaction between Asia and Europe, has made Hagia Sophia a strong symbol for dialogue, making it a powerful symbol for dialogue. . It is also stated that the issue will be on the agenda of the upcoming World Heritage Committee (this is the Committee commissioned by the Convention for the international protection of the heritage).
The importance of the disclosure is that the changes made by the States in the World heritage within their geographical boundaries should not affect the current universal value of the heritage and the obligation to notify UNESCO before the changes will be made.
Hagia Sophia entered the World Heritage list with the efforts of our officials. This is how the system works at UNESCO. There is a considerable amount of prestige and many advantages brought about by being on the list.
Every blessing has a burden, of course. Being on the list also requires compliance with certain obligations. The main text determining these obligations is the Convention on the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage. We have been party to the convention since 1983.
Article 4 of the Convention imposes various obligations on the State where the World Heritage is located geographically. The most important are the obligations to protect and transfer to future generations.
Article 6 of the Convention underlines that it is the duty of the entire international community to state that heritage protection are the duty of the entire international community, noting that States parties undertake not to take measures that can directly or indirectly damage the heritage.
Therefore, the UNESCO statement is actually a repetition of the actions we have undertaken by the Convention to which we are party to our will.
It should be noted that Article 11 grants the World Heritage Committee the power to place a heritage in Endangered World Heritage list when circumstances so require.
If a (Cultural) Heritage is judged to have at least one of the following two criteria, it can be registered by the Heritage Committee in the World Heritage List in Endangered (Implementation Directive 179-180.)
Identified Hazard: Inheritance faces certain and proven hazards likely to occur. For example, serious material degradation; serious deterioration of structural and / or decoration features; serious deterioration of architectural or city-planning integrity; severe degradation of the urban or rural area, or of the natural environment; serious loss of historical originality; serious loss of cultural significance.
Potential Hazard: Inheritance faces hazards that may have a detrimental effect on its characteristic features. The changing the legal status of the asset to reduce its degree of protection; lack of protection policy; threatening effects of regional planning projects; threatening effects of urban planning; armed conflict or danger of emergence; threatening effects of climatic, geological or other environmental factors.
In the decision numbered 2012/2639 issued by the Council of State Administrative Law Departments Board (subject to the decision of the Council of State 10th Decision dated 2 July 202, which is the subject of this article), it is clear that our State will be protected and kept alive in accordance with the relevant Convention. It was highlighted and highlighted that the need for any status change to be made by adhering to the purpose of preserving and maintaining the historical, architectural and cultural characteristics of this building.
Decision numbered 2012/2639 is an absolute judgment. The Administration is obliged to make any change of status in accordance with the Convention. In addition to 90, this decision also orders.
It was announced that the first prayer in Hagia Sophia will be performed on July 24, 2020. However, we do not know the details of the work to be done until this date, and what measures will be taken to protect the current architecture and ornaments.
On the other hand, the United Nations (UN) is a global organization. From the legal window, it cannot be said that they have very strong sanctions. The most effective weapon is Security Council decisions, which are mostly political decisions. The system introduced in the UNESCO Convention does not contain any sanctions except for the ones mentioned above.
Today’s Hagia Sophia is about 1500 years old. The third building built under the same name in the same place. Made in the 6th century during the Byzantine Emperor Justinyen I; This masterpiece of Byzantine architecture, considered as the symbol structure of Orthodoxy and accepted to change the history of architecture, was the biggest place of worship of its time. He also served as a church until the conquest of Istanbul.
It has become a place where people from all over the world meet – in a common denominator – by finding a piece from itself, their ancestors, civilization, faith and the planet in which they live. In other words, Hagia Sophia was the oasis of the desert of today’s World, which suffered from religion, sect, culture and racial discrimination.
Hagia Sophia is among the main places visited by the Christian Orthodox pilgrims in various sources. Hajj is worship.
Therefore, an appeal against the Council of State or the Presidential Decision, for violating human rights (freedom of religion, discrimination related to freedom of religion) violations by passing the necessary steps, to the Convention and the interpretation of UNESCO’s Hagia Sophia, in the broad interpretation of the application capacity. it is likely to be relied on.
The Constitutional Court interprets the requirement in individual applications. For example, again a few years ago, individual applications by the same plaintiff to the Constitutional Court on various matters concerning the worship of Muslims in Hagia Sophia were rejected on the grounds that there were no violations of the legal entity (conditions in 6216 S.K. art. 46).
However, if the application comes before, it is not possible to be sure of the scope of the European Court of Human Rights’ (ECtHR) interpretation.
Only the Council of Europe, which effectively uses the force of law enforcement within the international and regional organizations that we are a member of. The reason is that the decisions of the ECtHR, which is the jurisdiction of the Council, are binding for our country.
It rules compensation and trial expenses, we have to pay; we decide to be tried again, we are obliged to fulfill. There is also the heading of general measures in the execution of ECtHR violation decisions, which is the most challenging, because the Committee of Ministers does not leave the collar without changing your legislation and / or practice and preventing similar rights violations.