Work is underway to convert Hagia Sophia from a museum to a mosque.
Videos broadcasted by Turkish Media show municipal officials taking down all signs of the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism that identified Hagia Sophia as a museum.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan signed the decree last Friday, allowing the operation of Hagia Sophia as a “functioning mosque”, according to which the country’s General Directorate of Religious Affairs would take control of the building.
Erdoğan also announced that Hagia Sophia mosque will be open for prayer on July 24.
It is recalled that Turkish newspaper Hurriyet reported that Hagia Sophia will be open for prayer but also for tourists who want to visit it. They said that icons and mosaics will be covered with special technology and lighting.
The decision sparked criticism from around the world.