Unfortunately, the Church of Hagia Sophia in Trebizond, which has been a museum for the past 52 years, now functions as a mosque.
It functioned as a mosque since the fall of Trebizond in the 15th century, and in 1961 it was converted into a museum. Recently Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew stated that it would be better for the church to remain a museum than to become a mosque once again.
On Friday 28 June 2013, 50 Muslims held their first prayers. The Director of the Directorate for Foundations of Trebizond, Mazchar Yildirim, said that "today launched the personal prayer of the faithful. Next week we will do a formal ceremony." He said that besides the hours of prayer (Muslims pray five times a day) the specific location will continue to operate as a museum.
The icononography and mosaics of Hagia Sophia Museum were covered during the time of prayer with carpets and curtains, without the use of nails that would cause damage, Mazchar Yildirim assured, who is the protector of the museum.