President Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey declared and signed a decree on Friday that the Hagia Sophia museum will be converted back to the holy mosque with the first Muslim prayers to begin in two weeks after a top court annulled a 1934 government decree.

Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey built in 537 AD was famous for its massive dome. It was earlier Greek Orthodox Christian patriarchal cathedral which had been converted to an Ottoman imperial mosque and then to a museum. Hagia Sophia has been declared as the UNESCO world heritage site in 1985. Hagia Sophia is one of the most visited cultural sites in Turkey.

The Hagia Sophia named Byzantine Christian Cathedral from 537 AD to 1054 AD by the Eastern Roman Empire. Then it has been named as Greek Orthodox Cathedral from 1054 to 1204 AD. From 1204 to 1261 AD, it had been named Roman Catholic Cathedral which was again renamed as Greek Orthodox Cathedral from 1261 to 1453.

From 1453 AD until 1935 the Cathedral had been converted to the Ottoman Mosque which was later changed to Museum until date. The museum is closed at present for renovation and will be reopened as the Mosque.