Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Çavuşoğlu said Turkey will preserve Ayia Sofia in Istanbul as a UNESCO World Heritage Site once it becomes a mosque. This was reported by Turkish TV channel NTV on July 13.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed a decree on turning the Saint Sophia Cathedral in Istanbul into a mosque on July 10. He called on everyone to respect the decision of the country’s authorities to change the status of the cathedral.
A number of countries, as well as the Russian Orthodox Church, opposed the change of the status of the cathedral, and UNESCO urged Turkey not to take this decision.