Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said: "We will restore Hagia Sophia to its foundation and protect its cultural heritage as did its ancestors."
In a statement he delivered to public the President pointed out that an important development in recent days had been experienced in the status of Hagia Sophia. He said, "We are all undoubtedly delighted that Hagia Sophia will be returned to the mosque from the museum and will begin to serve the purpose of its foundation. I would like to underline once again that Hagia Sophia has been transformed from a museum to a mosque, not from a church.”
President Erdogan stated that Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror had took over a holy temple like Hagia Sophia in a ruined state, in 1453 and turned it into a mosque. Together with succeeding sultans they developed, enlarged and beautified the holy temple through additions and renovations, for centuries.
Erdogan emphasized that the Hagia Sophia, which was taken with one main dome in a ruined state, was transformed into a work of Turkey with its complex, minarets, library, fountain, bath and other additions.
The President said, “No one should worry, while making Hagia Sophia fit for its foundation again, we will protect its cultural heritage as our descendants did."