Turkish foreign minister on June 11 said Istanbul's Hagia Sophia is "not a matter of international affairs, but a matter of national sovereignty."
Speaking in a televised interview, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu responded to the recent discussions over the possible reopening of Hagia Sophia as a mosque and said the popular site was initially a mosque after conquering of Istanbul.
Turkey is not concerned about the maritime deal signed between Greece and Italy which delimitated the exclusive economic zones of the two countries, the country's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday.
"Their deal has proven the validity of Turkey's argument on such maritime deals," he was quoted by conservative Daily Sabah as telling a live broadcast on NTV.
In its annual International Religious Freedom Report, the US State Department notes that senior US government officials have continued to publicly and privately express to Turkish officials their view that Hagia Sophia, a former Orthodox Christian cathedral in Istanbul, is a monument of exceptional significance that must be preserved in a way that respects its religious history.