Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan veered directly towards the Islamist political sphere on Sunday by leaving open the possibility of the Turkish state restoring the Hagia Sophia as a mosque from its current status as museum.
He made the statement during live interview at the presidential with journalists from the Turkish state broadcaster, and in answer to a question on visiting the Christian Orthodox cathedral-turned mosque without paying an entry fee.
"This is not unlikely. We might even change its name to Ayasofya Mosque," Erdoğan said, according to Sabah.
"As you know, the mosque was converted to a museum in 1935, as a reflection of the CHP (Republican People's Party) mentality. We may as well take a step and change that," a translation of his statement noted.