President Erdoğan makes statement on Hagia Sophia mosque
Converting the Hagia Sophia into a mosque is a matter of sovereignty, Turkey's president told reporters on Friday.
THE MOSQUE WILL BE OPENED TO PRAYERS ON JULY 24
Turkey does not see international reactions on the reopening of the Istanbul landmark to Muslim worship as binding, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stressed.
The first prayers will be held on July 24 for 1,000-1,500 worshipers at the same time, Erdoğan added.
Last week, a top Turkish court annulled a 1934 Cabinet decree, which had turned Istanbul's Hagia Sophia from a mosque into a museum.
After centuries of service as a church under the Byzantine Empire, Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque by Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II following his conquest of Istanbul in 1453.