Duvar English - Anadolu Agency
Palestinian Islamist group Hamas has expressed its support for the Turkish government's decision to convert Istanbul's iconic Hagia Sophia into a mosque. "Opening of Hagia Sophia to prayer is a proud moment for all Muslims," said Hamas in a written statement.
Palestinian Islamist group Hamas has welcomed the verdict of Turkey's Council of State revoking the status of Istanbul's iconic Hagia Sophia as a museum.
"Opening of Hagia Sophia to prayer is a proud moment for all Muslims," said Rafat Murra, head of international press office of Hamas, in a written statement.
Murra said that the decision created "sadness" in certain groups in the Arab world.
"We have never seen them worry about Masjid al-Aqsa. We have not seen them get sad when the Zionists attack Dome of the Rock. When the occupiers' banned call to prayer in Al-Halil Masjid or Palestinian masjid. They did not care," he said.
On July 10, Turkey's Council of State -- the highest administrative court in the country – paved the way for Hagia Sophia’s conversion back into mosque despite international warnings against such a move.
Shortly after the court's decision, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan handed over the iconic structure’s control to the country’s Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet).
In a televised address to the nation on July 10, Erdoğan said first prayers at the ancient structure will be held on July 24.