Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas expressed pleasure about the reversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque and congratulated the Turkish people in a phone call with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Sunday.
In his conversation with Erdoğan, Abbas hailed Turkey's decision to revert Istanbul's iconic Hagia Sophia into a mosque, Turkey's Communications Directorate said.
Hagia Sophia served as a church for 916 years until the conquest of Istanbul, and a mosque from 1453 to 1934 — nearly 500 years — and most recently as a museum for 86 years.
On July 10, a Turkish court annulled a 1934 Cabinet decree that had turned Hagia Sophia into a museum, paving the way for its use again as a mosque.
One of the most visited historic buildings in Turkey by domestic and international tourists, Hagia Sophia was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1985, during its time as a museum.
Meanwhile, President Erdoğan reiterated Turkey's determination to continue to support the Palestinian cause, the statement read.
Turkish officials have opposed Israeli aggression and occupation of Palestinian land.
In January, Turkey expressed outrage over a unilateral so-called peace plan by the U.S. for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as authorities pointed to Jerusalem as a "red line" for the country. The Turkish public, meanwhile, flocked to the streets to protest in both Washington and Tel Aviv over their "betrayal" of the Palestinians.
Being one of the main countries that have maintained a clear position on the Palestinian cause, Turkey responded to the so-called "Deal of the Century" by U.S. President Donald Trump by stating that the people and land of Palestine were not for sale.
The deal followed Trump's decision in December 2017 to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, an issue which was carried to the U.N. General Assembly after a draft resolution on the matter was vetoed 14-1 by the U.S. in the U.N. Security Council.
Israel occupied east Jerusalem during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. In 1980, in a move never recognized by the international community, Israel annexed the entire city, claiming it as the self-proclaimed Jewish state's "eternal and undivided" capital.