Comment by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova on Turkey’s decision to turn the Hagia Sophia cathedral museum into a mosque
We regret the decision of the Republic of Turkey’s leaders to turn the Hagia Sophia cathedral museum into a mosque and resume Muslim services there.
The 1934 decision on the status of the museum, adopted at the initiative of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the modern Turkish state, made the Hagia Sophia a symbol of peace and interfaith harmony for many decades and played an important role in promoting an atmosphere of religious tolerance and dialogue between nations.
We hope that the management of the Hagia Sophia, which was a museum until recently and remains a sacred place for the entire Christian world as well as the heritage of global culture and Eurasian civilisation, will fully comply with its status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We expect that any actions regarding this unique landmark will consider its exceptional meaning for believers all over the world.