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US calls for ending violence in protest-torn Iraq - State Department

US calls for ending violence in protest-torn Iraq - State Department

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 28 Oct 2019, 04:45 am

Washington (Sputnik/UNI) The United States is calling for ending violence in protest-torn Iraq, US State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement on Sunday.

"The United States is closely monitoring the situation in Iraq and calls on all sides to reject the cycle of violence. We extend our condolences to the families of those killed during the demonstrations this weekend. We mourn the loss of life and wish those injured a swift and full recovery," Ortagus said.


Washington is also deeply concerned about the forced closure of media outlets in the country, she added.


Saudi broadcaster Al Arabiya and its subsidiary project Al Hadath said in the early hours of Sunday that Iraqi authorities had suspended their activities in the country, citing lack of a license as the reason.


The protests began on October 1 and were suspended in mid-October for pilgrimage before resuming on Friday. During the first wave of protests, 149 people were killed and around 3,500 people sustained injuries. According to Iraqi human rights activists, another 63 people were killed and over 2,500 injured on Friday and Saturday.


The protesters call on the government to resign, and demand economic reforms and fighting against corruption. As the protests resumed on Friday, Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi said that he would carry out a cabinet reshuffle and introduce changes to election laws. Mahdi said that the government's resignation, demanded by protesters, would throw the country in chaos.  

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Erdogan's Turkey turns Hagia Sophia into a mosque again; UNESCO regrets #HagiaSophia, #Turkey, #Istanbul, #HagiaSophiaMosqueAgain Istanbul/IBNS: Hagia Sophia, Turkey's iconic monument, a UNESCO World Heritage and one of the central attractions of its capital Istanbul, is no longer a museum. It has been turned back as a mosque though some 1500 years ago it was built as an Orthodox Christian cathedral. Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque during the Ottoman time in 1453 while under Ataturk it was turned into a museum in 1935. The decision comes amid a growing rise of the Islamists in Turkey who had been demanding that it be restored as a mosque though Opposition leaders with secular credentials had been against the move. A top court in Turkey ruled that turning it into a museum in 1935 by modern Turkey's secular architect Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was illegal, paving the way for present Turkey president Recep Tayyip Erdogan to declare it as a mosque again and to open it for Muslim prayers. Erdogan made the announcement an hour after the court ruled the conversion to museum in 1935 as illegal and scrapped its status. "May it be beneficial," posted Erdogan on Twitter, sharing an official document on the change with his signature. UNESCO regrets In an immediate reaction, UNESCO said it "deeply regrets" the decision. UNESCO said it was "regrettable that the Turkish decision was not the subject of dialog nor notification beforehand". "UNESCO calls on the Turkish authorities to open a dialog without delay in order to avoid a step back from the universal value of this exceptional heritage whose preservation will be reviewed by the World Heritage Committee in its next session," the United Nation's cultural body said in a statement. Istanbul icon of beauty and wonderment According to Turkey's official tourism website, Hagia Sophia is a remarkable achievement in the history of architecture. and a living proof of mankind's revolt against the laws of physics and it calls it a monument whose importance transcends borders. It is one of UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage sites attracting millions of visitors across the world with its majestic grandeur

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Erdogan's Turkey turns Hagia Sophia into a mosque again 11 Jul 2020, 01:37 pm