Religious ceremony in the mosque Hagia Sophia in Istanbul will resume on 24 July, after carrying out the preparatory activities this July 10, said the President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan during his address to the nation, said the Agency Anadolu.
He urged to respect the decision of the Turkish court for the return of the Hagia Sophia and the status of the mosque. Erdogan stressed that objections to a court ruling will be regarded as a violation of Turkish sovereignty.
The Turkish President stressed that the doors of the mosque AyAy-Sofia will be open to all, including tourists.
Hagia Sophia is located in the historical center of Istanbul, Sultanahmet. In 1453, after the capture of Constantinople by the Ottomans the Cathedral was converted into a mosque. In 1935 it became a Museum. In 1985, St. Sophia Cathedral was included in UNESCO world heritage site.
July 10 the President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed a decree that transformed the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul into a working mosque. The decision was made shortly after the Turkish state Council (highest administrative court) canceled the decree of Kemal Ataturk from 1934 on the transformation of the Cathedral into a Museum.
The decision to convert the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul from a Museum into a mosque could be its exclusion from the list of world heritage of UNESCO.