July 10, 2020 / 7:31 PM / a month ago

U.S. State Department 'disappointed' in Turkish government decision on Hagia Sophia

WASHINGTON, July 10 (Reuters) - The U.S. State Department on Friday said it was “disappointed” by the government of Turkey’s decision to change the status of Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia after Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan declared the ancient monument a mosque again.

“We understand the Turkish Government remains committed to maintaining access to the Hagia Sophia for all visitors, and look forward to hearing its plans for continued stewardship of the Hagia Sophia to ensure it remains accessible without impediment for all,” State Department Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said in a statement.

Reporting by Daphne Psaledakis and Tim Ahmann Editing by Chris Reese

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