Erdogan entrusts to change Hagia Sophia status in Istanbul
The Turkish nation should decide on Hagia Sophia, the Turkish President said and entrusted his assistants to prepare the conversion of the cathedral into a mosque.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan instructed his assistants to handle the preparation of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul with a view to converting it into a mosque. This was reported by the Turkish online publication Hürriyet.
“Hagia Sophia can be further visited by tourists as a mosque. Like in Sultanahmet (the historical center of Istanbul – Ed.). Our nation must resolve this issue,” Erdogan said.
The President of Turkey announced his assignment at a meeting of the main council of the Justice and Development Party. Erdogan is the chairman of this party, which is the ruling party in the country.
He recalled that in 1934, the Council of Ministers converted Hagia Sophia, a symbol of the conquest of Istanbul, into a museum.
“Do the research for Hagia Sophia, let's evaluate the situation and discuss it,” the Turkish President urged his staff.
He asked them to take their time and to deal with this issue properly.
“Be very careful about it,” Erdogan said.
Earlier, the Turkish authorities held an event near the walls of Hagia Sophia called "Conquest Festival" on the occasion of the 567th anniversary of the fall of Constantinople. After this event, the Turkish President declared that Turkish authorities have the right to return the status of a mosque to the cathedral.