Entrance to the Hagia Sophia Mosque in Istanbul will be paid for foreign tourists. The changes will take effect on January 15, 2024. The cost of the entrance ticket is still unknown, Minister of Culture and Tourism Mehmet Nuri Ersoy said at a press conference at the Ataturk Cultural Center, Report informs referring to the Turkish channel NTV.
Ersoy noted that restrictions on free entry to the mosque are related to UNESCO recommendations.
“Turkish citizens who come to worship will not be charged a fee,” the minister emphasized.
In addition to the paid entrance, special zones will be developed for foreigners. They will prevent possible conflicts between Turkish citizens coming to worship services and foreign citizens visiting the mosque.
Hagia Sophia was built in the 6th century CE and is a monument of Byzantine architecture. In the 15th century the temple was rebuilt into a mosque. In 1934, the Hagia Sophia Mosque was given museum status, and in 1985 it was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.