The EU and UNESCO criticized the decision.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the mosque of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul,the former Orthodox Cathedral of St. Sophia, in which was located the Museum will open its doors to the faithful on 24 July, reports the Chronicle.info with reference in Word and Deed.
“God willing, together we will hold the Friday prayers on July 24 and reopen Aya Sophia for prayers,” Erdogan said in an address to the Turkish people, according to AFP news Agency.
He also assured that the mosque will be open to representatives of all faiths.
“The question of how it will be used the Cathedral of St. Sophia, refers to the sovereign right of Turkey,” Erdogan said and added that any criticism regarding the decision to turn St. Sophia Cathedral into a mosque will be perceived by Turkey as interference in the internal Affairs of the country and violation of its sovereignty.
We will remind, yesterday the President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed a decree according to which the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul has received the status of the mosque.
The authorities of Cyprus, Greece and Austria condemned the decision of Turkey to turn Hagia Sophia into a mosque.
On turning Hagia Sophia into a mosque also responded to UNESCO. In the Organization deeply regrets the decision of the Turkish authorities, however, call for the preservation of the universal values of world heritage.