ISTANBUL - The Imrahor Monument (St. Studios Monastery & Hagios Ionnes Prodromos Basilica), the oldest church in Turkish metropolis of Istanbul, will be restored, said Jale Dedeoglu, the curator of the Hagia Sophia Museum who is also responsible for this basilica.

In an exclusive interview with A.A correspondent, Dedeoglu said that the basilica was built in the name of John the Baptist under the instructions of East Consul Studios between A.D. 456-463.

Dedeoglu noted that patriarchs received theological education and the emperors who visited the city performed religious services at this monument.

''The monument was demolished by Latin invasion during the Fourth Crusade. It was converted into a mosque by Imrahor Ilyas Bey in 1486 after Istanbul was conquered. And, it became a center which introduced famous calligraphers. The mosque was burned in 1782, and restored in 1820. It suffered considerable damage in the earthquake of 1894. Its roof collapsed in 1908, and it has not been renovated since then,'' she said.

According to Dedeoglu, the building will be restored in line with its original shape.

Located in Yedikule, the monument has specific columns and rich floor decorations.

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