The State Department said on Friday that it was “disappointed” by Turkey’s decision to turn Hagia Sophia, a landmark in Istanbul, back into a mosque.
“We are disappointed with the Turkish government’s decision to change the status of Hagia Sophia. This building is an important part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site “Historic Sites of Istanbul” in recognition of its rich multicultural history, “said Foreign Ministry spokesman Morgan Ortagus.
“We understand that the Turkish government remains committed to providing everyone with access to Hagia Sophia, and we look forward to hearing their plans to continue to manage Hagia Sophia to ensure that it remains accessible to everyone. ”
The reprimand comes after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced on Friday that he would turn the building back into a mosque and fulfill his long-standing promise.
The famous landmark, which was built as a cathedral during the Byzantine Empire, was a place of worship for Greek Orthodox Christians, Catholics and Muslims for centuries before it was converted into a secular museum in the 1930s.
Erdoğan’s announcement was pushed back by the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, James Risch (R-Idaho), and the senior member Bob MenendezThe group, supported by Robert (Bob) MenendezKoch, urges the Senate to use new advertisements to oppose “bailouts” by states. Thomas Kean wins the GOP area code to take over the government of Rep. Tom Malinowski Trump (DN.J.), who described the move as “a deep affront to Christians around the world who see Hagia Sophia as a radiant light and deeply revered holy place”.
“We strongly condemn President Erdoğan’s decision to convert Hagia Sophia from a museum to a mosque. At certain points in its history, Hagia Sophia has served as a place of worship for Muslims and Christians and has been an exceptional and inviting center for people of all faiths for decades, ”they said in a joint statement.
Erdoğan made the announcement after the Turkish Supreme Court ruled that the building could be turned into a functioning mosque. The Turkish president said the building would be open for prayers on July 24.