Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan visited Hagia Sophia (Church of the Holy Wisdom) on Sunday and inspected the ongoing preparations.
According to Turkish media reports, Erdoğan was accompanied by Tourism and Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy and Acting Mayor of Istanbul Governor Ali Yerlikaya.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan signed the decree on July 10, 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.
Cumhurbaşkanı Erdoğan Ayasofya'da https://t.co/9Y8JnS4iMb
— Demirören Haber Ajansı (@dhainternet) July 19, 2020
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.
— Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (@RTErdogan) July 19, 2020