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'Tourists will be able to visit Hagia Sophia'

People perform the evening prayer at Ayasofya (Hagia Sophia) Square after the 10th Chamber of the Council of State's decision of the annulment of a 1934 Cabinet decision making Hagia Sophia – previously a mosque for nearly 500 years – into a museum, in Istanbul, Turkey on July 10, 2020 [Elif Öztürk - Anadolu Agency]

The opening of Hagia Sophia as a mosque will not change anything for tourists, a Turkish lawmaker said on Friday, Anadolu Agency reports.

Veysel Eroglu, a lawmaker and the Turkish presidency’s special representative to Iraq, said there has been great excitement among Muslims and Turkish people over opening of Hagia Sophia as a mosque.

He stressed that tourists will continue to be able to visit Hagia Sophia.

He said the way tourists visit Sultanahmet Camii, also known as the Blue Mosque, they can also visit Haghia Sophia in the same way.

Hagia Sophia, the iconic monument, was first built as a church in the Byzantine period. It became a mosque after Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II conquered Istanbul in 1453.

In 1934, Turkish government had turned Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia Mosque into a museum.

Last week, a top Turkish court annulled a 1934 Cabinet decree, which had turned Hagia Sophia from a mosque into a museum.

READ: Israel’s annexation plan, not Turkey’s Hagia Sophia move, undermines regional peace 

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