Interim Turkish Minister of Culture; Yalcin Topcu revealed his aspiration for Hagia Sophia’s fate.
“Opening the Hagia Sophia to prayers [for Muslims] is my personal dream, my goal, my ambition. Although there are several debates over its judicial status, the issue is more of a political debate,” Hurriyet Daily News quotes him as saying.
Hagia Sophia, which is located in Istanbul, is currently a museum. It was initially a Byzantine cathedral since its opening in 360 up until 1453 when Constantinople was sieged by the Ottoman Empire. It became a mosque thereafter and was made a museum in 1935 after the Ottoman Empire had become secular Turkey.
Topcu recognized that his ministry does not have the authority to convert the museum into a mosque and said he does want to create a “polemic” on the matter.
“There is an international dimension too, because the symbolic meaning of the Hagia Sophia is great. The final decision will be given by this nation rather than the world. A referendum might be the most serious solution,” Topcu noted earlier .