Stelios Petsas, a spokesman for the Greek government, said this month that converting the Hagia Sophia would be "a huge emotional chasm between the Christians of the world and Turkey", according to Reuters. This is a choice which offends all those who also recognise the monument as a World Heritage Site. "Throughout its history, it has been bearing diverse religious, cultural and political significance", Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Anna Naghdalyan said in a statement.
"Opening of Hagia Sophia to prayer is a proud moment for all Muslims", said Rafat Murra, head of worldwide press office of Hamas, in a written statement.
1985 - Hagia Sophia was chosen as a world heritage site by UNESCO.
Erdogan made his announcement, just an hour after the court ruling was revealed, despite global warnings not to change the status of the almost 1,500-year-old monument, revered by Christians and Muslims alike. Ortagus added that the USA looks forward to hearing Turkey's plans to keep the Hagia Sophia "accessible without impediment for all".
The Russian Orthodox Church expressed dismay at Turkey's decision to revoke the museum status of Hagia Sophia, accusing it of ignoring voices of millions of Christians.
The matter of Hagia Sophia's status came up when Turkey marked the 567th anniversary of the conquest on May 29 by reading passages from the Muslim holy book, the Quran, in the Hagia Sophia.
The Council of State had on July 2 debated the case brought by a Turkish group - the Association for the Protection of Historic Monuments and the Environment, which demanded Hagia Sophia be reopened for Muslim prayers.
"Hagia Sophia is the crowning moment of Erdogan's religious revolution which has been unfolding in Turkey for over a decade", he said, pointing to greater emphasis on religion in education and across government.
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"Its status as a museum reflects the universal nature of its heritage, and makes it a powerful symbol for dialogue", she added. The building was finally transformed into a museum in 1935 by Kemal Ataturk, founder of the modern Turkish republic. The Turkish president said the building will be open for prayers on July 24.
The head of the Eastern Orthodox Church has condemned the move, as has Greece - home to many millions of Orthodox followers.
UNESCO said it "deeply regrets" Turkey's decision.
The order follows the top administrative court in Turkey annulling an 85-year-old presidential decree that had turned the mosque into a museum.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said any change would diminish its ability "to serve humanity as a much-needed bridge between those of differing faith traditions and cultures".
Muslim clerics have occasionally recited prayers in the museum on key anniversaries or religious holidays.
"The accusations made against our country regarding the Hagia Sophia means a direct attack on our sovereignty", he said.