Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan issued a decree on Friday to formally declare Hagia Sophia a mosque, mere minutes after Turkey’s administrative court annulled a 1934-dated decision that paved the way for the use of the 15-century-old structure as a museum.
Erdogan’s decree cited the Council of State’s verdict as the basis of his move for the transfer of the powers concerning the use of the Hagia Sophia to the Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet).
In a message on Twitter, Erdogan offered his “best wishes” to the Directorate.
Turkish daily Hurriyet reports that crowds were observed to be gathered in front of the Hagia Sophia after news broke out on the status change.
Turkish members of parliament from the ruling parties give a standing ovation after speaker reads Erdogan’s decree to turn Hagia Sophia into a mosque pic.twitter.com/HmJmiGXHdU
— Ragıp Soylu (@ragipsoylu) July 10, 2020