Turkey has decided to reverse the status of Hagia Sophia from is current usage as a museum into a mosque as it used to be for five centuries by a presidential decree issued on 10 July 2020.
H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President of the Republic of Turkey, announced that Hagia Sophia will be open for Muslim worship starting from 24 July 2020.
As mentioned in the statements of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey on 1 July and 13 July 2020, Turkey has been delicately cherishing the historical, cultural and spiritual value of Hagia Sophia.
However, it should be underlined that Hagia Sophia is the property of Turkey, like all of the cultural assets located in Turkey. Hence, any kind of power disposition regarding Hagia Sophia including its change of status is a matter within Turkish sovereign rights that no state, institution or individual can interfere with.
Maintaining its feature as a common cultural heritage of humanity, Hagia Sophia will continue to embrace everyone with its new status.
In its new status, Hagia Sophia Mosque will be open to visitors from all faiths and religions around the globe. Everybody will be able to visit this magnificent building, from now on, free of charge.
On the other hand, Turkey will take the necessary measures in Hagia Sophia while preserving the outstanding universal value of this unique monument and observing its UNESCO commitments are the same time.