The US government is urging Turkey to maintain Hagia Sophia’s status as a museum.
In particular, in a statement issued by the US State Department, Secretary Michael Pompeo calls on Turkey “to continue to maintain the Hagia Sophia as a museum, as an exemplar of its commitment to respect the faith traditions and diverse history that contributed to the Republic of Turkey, and to ensure it remains accessible to all.”
He also highlights that “This extraordinary site is a testament to religious expression and to artistic and technical genius, reflected in its rich and complex 1,500-year history. Moreover, the site’s status as a museum has allowed people from all over the world to access and reflect upon this magnificent achievement.”
The announcement by the US Secretary of State concludes that “The United States views a change in the status of the Hagia Sophia as diminishing the legacy of this remarkable building and its unsurpassed ability—so rare in the modern world—to serve humanity as a much-needed bridge between those of differing faith traditions and cultures. We seek to continue to work with the Government of Turkey on a broad range of issues of mutual interest, including the preservation of religious and cultural sites.”