Presidential Spokesman Ibrahim Kalın and Istanbul Governor Yerlikaya visited Ayasofya-i Kebir Mosque (i.e. Hagia Sophia Mosque), together with 30 ambassadors.
The visit, during which the ambassadors holding office in Turkey were hosted, was joined by Presidential Spokesman Ibrahim Kalın, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Yavuz Selim Kıran, Istanbul Governor Ali Yerlikaya, Istanbul Representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Murat Tamer, Provincial Culture and Tourism Director Coşkun Yılmaz and Provincial Mufti Mehmet Emin Maşalı.
Presidential Spokesman Ibrahim Kalın provided information about Hagia Sophia to the ambassadors in the courtyard of Ayasofya-i Kebir Mosque. The group looked around inside the mosque and visited the gallery in the upper floor of the building, where restoration works are underway.
After visiting Ayasofya-i Kebir Mosque, Ibrahim Kalın answered the questions of the press.
Presidential Spokesman Ibrahim Kalın said they had invited the invaluable ambassadors upon the instruction of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and added "Dear Governor, Deputy Minister, Provincial Culture and Tourism Director and other colleagues, today, we had the opportunity to see the works performed in Hagia Sophia, together with the ambassadors of about 30 countries. We provided information about the history, religious identity and cultural heritage of Hagia Sophia as well as new arrangements, how the curtain system will work, entrance and exit points of the worshippers, tourists as well as the visitors to the ambassadors."
Presidential Spokesman Ibrahim Kalın noted that Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Istanbul Governorate and other units had conducted comprehensive works in Ayasofya-i Kebir Mosque and got prepared in a very short time, and said "Although the number has been limited under the corona conditions and social distancing rules have been introduced, we're extremely pleased to see that people show a very high level of interest in this place. The visitors actually are fascinated by this great place of worship."