Ankara decided to close the Hagia Sophia in order to carry out maintenance work.

The announcement, which has now been made official and refers to the start of the maintenance, seismic protection and restoration work processes of the historic Christian place of worship which has been operating as a mosque since 2020, as transmitted by SKAI’s correspondent in Istanbul, Manolis Kostidis, is the subject of discussion in Turkey in the last few hours.

The above-mentioned projects, according to the state officials at least, are expected to last for many years, possibly for “two generations” as characteristically states the news published by the Directorate of Communication of the Turkish presidency.

At the same time, Islamist and pro-government columnists question whether this decision is in fact a political ploy that functions as a cover for a possible definitive closure of the operation of the once Christian church, as a mosque in a possible attempt to approach the West.

In any case, the Turkish Minister of Tourism assures the opposite.