UNESCO “halts” Erdogan’s plans to turn the Hagia Sophia into Mosque

A source from the organisation said any change in the name of a site had to receive the approval of a competent committee

UNESCO has put the brakes on Turkish President Erdogan’s intentions to turn Hagia Sophia into a mosque.
A source from UNESCO told Turkish Sputnik network that any plan regarding the status of the Hagia Sophia would have to be submitted to the relevant UNESCO committee and approved in order to proceed.

“Decisions concerning the implementation of the Convention on the Protection of the World Cultural Heritage are taken by the World Heritage Committee. If a country has signed on to the Convention and wants to change the name of a monument, it will have to submit its proposal for approval to the committee”, the source said.

“UNESCO is preparing for the work of the committee but can not predict its decisions in any way,” the source added.

Turkish President Erdogan said during a TV interview that he planned to turn the Hagia Sophia, which has been a UNESCO World Heritage site and a museum since the 1920s, to be turned into a Mosque during a pre-election gathering in Constantinople.