Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced Istanbul's Hagia Sophia museum would be re-opened as a mosque on July 24, during a press conference in the iconic monument on Friday.
«We are removing paid entry to the Hagia Sofia as it is leaving its museum status. Like all our mosques, Hagia Sofia's doors are open to everyone, locals and foreigners, Muslims and non-Muslims, until the end. Hagia Sofia, which is the common heritage of humanity, will continue to embrace everyone with its new status, with even more sincerity,» explained Erdogan.
A Turkish court had earlier ruled that Hagia Sophia, a UNESCO World Heritage site, could be converted back into a mosque, overturning a 1934 court decision.