The First Namaz Since 1934 Began In Hagia Sophia
The opening ceremony of the Hagia Sophia complex in the status of a mosque is taking place on Friday in Istanbul, Daily Sabah reports. Hagia Sophia, until recently, had the status of a Museum.
Muslims who want to take part in Friday prayers, which will take place in Hagia Sofia for the first time in almost 90 years, started coming to the architectural complex in the morning.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also participates in the ceremony. Video footage shows that everyone in the mosque, including the Turkish leader, has masks on their faces.
Checkpoints have been deployed to ensure security. There are also employees of medical services who will measure the temperature of all incoming patients.
The day before, the last preparatory works were completed in the architectural complex. Christian mosaics and frescoes were covered with curtains during Muslim prayers.
The decree on changing the status of Hagia Sophia was signed by Erdogan on July 10. This decree provides for the transfer of the object to the property of the Office of Religious Affairs of Turkey, as a result of which it will be opened as a mosque in which it will be possible to perform Muslim worship.
The Hagia Sophia received its Museum status in 1934 by the decision of the first President of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. Since 1985, the Cathedral has been included in the UNESCO world heritage list.