Erdogan spoke about the preparatory work in Hagia Sophia
About six months will be required for preparatory work in the Cathedral of St. Sophia (Hagia Sophia) to transform it into a mosque, stated Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
On Friday, Erdogan signed a decree about the transformation of the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul into a mosque and the beginning of Muslim worship there. This became possible after Turkey's Council of state annulled the decision of 1934 the transformation of Hagia Sophia into a Museum.
"Inside the building there are some defects, within six months we will carry out preparatory work in Hagia Sophia. We will conduct these works to Muslims and other religions came and saw the best example of how we are protecting the heritage of our ancestors, and that the rumors are not true," said Erdogan in his address to the nation, broadcast by his press service.
Erdogan urged other countries to respect the decision of Turkey, noted that "understands" those who do not agree with the decisions of Ankara. While criticism of Ankara over the decision, Erdogan again likened to attacks on the credibility of Turkey.
Erdogan compared the opening of Hagia Sophia as a mosque, with its "revival" and that she "threw off the shackles of the feet." The Turkish President reminded that Turkey 435 synagogues and temples.
The Hagia Sophia was founded by the Christian Emperor Justinian, and was opened on 27 December 537. Cathedral over a thousand years was the largest Church in the Christian world. After the capture of Constantinople by the Ottomans and the fall of the Byzantine Empire in 1453, the Cathedral was converted into a mosque but since 1934 the building by decree of the founder of the modern Turkish state Kemal Ataturk became a Museum and was included in the world heritage list of UNESCO.