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The Hagia Sophia in Turkey will be protected as a world heritage site

The Ministry of culture and tourism of Turkey and the office for religious Affairs of the country (Diyanet) signed the Protocol on which the Hagia Sophia (Hagia Sophia) in Istanbul will be protected as a world heritage site after the change of its status, said the head of culture and tourism Mehmet Nuri Ersoy.

The Supreme administrative court of Turkey on 10 July annulled the decision of 1934 the transformation of Hagia Sophia into a Museum. Immediately after this, the President said that he had signed a decree about the transformation of the Cathedral into a mosque and the beginning of Muslim worship there. They will begin on July 24.

"Let no one fear - like the Hagia Sophia were protected before, and will be protected further. We have signed a Protocol, which stated that it will be protected as a world heritage site in accordance with international standards. Restoration work in the building will be accelerated. Foreign tourists can visit the Hagia Sophia for free," said Ersoy reporters at the signing ceremony of the Protocol.

In turn, the head of Diyanet Ali Erbas, said that the Turkish authorities expect to increase the number of visitors to the Aya Sofia.

"The Hagia Sophia is a legacy that serves all of humanity, is one of the best historical and cultural monuments, and we had to keep it. Believe that the number of visitors to Sofia will grow like prayers or a visit, will increase to million," he said.

The Hagia Sophia was founded by the Christian Emperor Justinian and inaugurated on 27 December 537. The Cathedral is about 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.