The United States was “disappointed” this Friday with the conversion of the former Basilica of Saint Sophia in Istanbul into a mosque and asked to maintain the accessibility of the site.
“We understand that the Turkish government remains committed to providing all visitors with access to Hagia Sophia, and we look forward to their plans to ensure that it remains accessible and unobstructed for all,” said the State Department spokeswoman in one Explanation. Morgan Ortagus.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed a decree formal converting Hagia Sophia into a mosque shortly after the Turkish Central Administrative Court overturned the 1934 decree, which secularized one of Istanbul’s main emblems.
The document, which defines the judgment of the State Council as the cornerstone of the decision, finally revokes the museum status of the ancient basilica, one of the world jewels of Byzantine art. According to the court, Hagia Sophia is owned by the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Foundation and was only registered as a mosque.