“You do not have to worry, Hagia Sophia will be protected as always. We sign a protocol stating that it will be preserved as a World Heritage Site in accordance with international standards. The restoration work on the buildings will be accelerated. Tourists will be able to participate free in Hagia Sophia, “said the competent minister Mehmet Ersoy to journalists in signing ceremony of the Protocol.
The Turkish authorities have already gone to the first changes to in Hagia Sophia so that it can function as a mosque, with the Ministry of Culture in the country claiming that it will retain its monumental character.
But also the boss of Diyanet, her Directorate of Religious Affairs country, Ali Erbas, he added that the Turkish government expects an increased flow of visitors to Hagia Sophia.
“Hagia Sophia is a heritage for all mankind, it is one of the best historical and cultural monuments and we feel honored to preserve it.” I believe the number of people who go there both for prayer and for visits will increase to millions, “predicted Erbas.
On July 10, Turkey’s Supreme Court annulled a 1934 decree that turned Hagia Sophia into a museum and paved the way for its use as a mosque. Within hours, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed the decree.
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The building, which was originally built as a Byzantine cathedral, is expected to open for Muslim prayers on July 24.