Mass media: Turkish authorities block access to Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia Cathedral. Photo:

Turkish authorities blocked access to Hagia Sophia until the first prayer takes place in the temple.

Turkish authorities closed access to Hagia Sophia until July 24: on this day the first prayer is scheduled in Hagia Sophia, Vesti reports.

Access to the temple was closed for tourists; the entrance is guarded by the reinforced police squad.

The publication reports that tourists are not allowed inside the shrine, groups of Muslims are staying at the temple alongside the police.

“I am very upset, this is a wrong step. For me it is the same as if Notre Dame were closed to tourists and turned into a mosque,” says one of the Frenchmen who came specially to see Byzantine mosaics and murals.

As reported by the UOJ, on July 10, 2020, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed a decree on changing the status of Hagia Sophia and said that on July 24, the shrine would open as a mosque for Islamic worship.

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