“Once again, we emphasize that Hagia Sophia is the property of Turkey, and any projects in its regard, including a change in status, are related to the sovereignty of the republic. No one can interfere with our sovereign right, ”the commentary says.
At the same time, the Turkish Foreign Ministry assured that despite the new status, Hagia Sophia will be able to be visited by representatives of "all religions and beliefs around the world."
In addition, the work carried out inside the building will not affect the criteria required to preserve the property on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Earlier, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, stated that the decision of the Turkish authorities to change the status of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul is regrettable.
On July 10, the Turkish State Council overturned the 1934 decision to turn Hagia Sophia (Hagia Sophia) in Istanbul into a museum.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed a decree on the transfer of the cathedral to the Religious Affairs Authority and allowed Muslim services to be held in Hagia Sofia.