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Türkiye. Foreign tourists will pay to enter Hagia Sophia

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Foreign tourists visiting Turkey will have to pay a fee to enter the Hagia Sophia mosque, Turkish Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy announced on Tuesday. The fees are to come into force on January 15, 2024. Its amount has not been precisely determined yet.

– Starting from January 15, 2024, we are implementing a visitor management plan in accordance with UNESCO guidelines. This move aims to preserve the Hagia Sophia mosque and its square on the UNESCO World Heritage List, Minister Ersoy said.

Hagia SophiaShutterstock

One of the key changes is the introduction of separate entrances for believers and tourists. – Turkish citizens coming for religious purposes will not experience any changes, but foreign visitors coming for tourist and cultural purposes will be required to pay an entrance fee – explained the Turkish minister.

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The fee amount has not been determined

He added that its amount has not yet been precisely determined. Before the status of Hagia Sophia changed from a museum to a mosque in 2020, the entrance ticket was 100 Turkish liras (currently approx. PLN 15). At the moment – as with all other mosques in Turkey – entry to the temple is free.

Read also: Türkiye accuses Israel of attacking a cancer hospital in Gaza. “There is no explanation”

Turkey’s Minister of Culture and Tourism additionally announced that extensive conservation works are underway in various parts of the mosque.

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