An authority in Ankara, speaking about the mini controversy, has said also "The perspective on the Hagia Sophia by certain groups and certain circles has been well known for awhile. The words about the Pope praying in the Hagia Sophia for a couple of minutes were spoken without thought to the potential reaction by these people. What will happen if they then say 'The Pope prayed there, but it is closed to Muslims'? The current status of the Hagia Sophia as a museum is the best one....."
There has been no official response as yet from the Vatican to Turkish President Ahmet Sezer's invitation to Pope Benedict XVI to visit Turkey in 2006.