Islamic fundamentalism seeks to send Christians back to the catacombs
It was in 1453 that Constantinople was over-run by the Muslim Turks and became known as Istanbul. For nearly 500 years, it served as a mosque, having been seized by the Ottoman Turks. Muslim architects added Islamic elements such as minarets and the mithrab. The stunning and rich mosaics on the interior of the church, illustrating the life of Christ and the saints were erased with plaster. However, following the overthrow of Ottoman rule by the dictator Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, it was converted into a museum in 1935.