Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday said the first Muslim prayers at Istanbul’s famed Hagia Sophia would be performed on July 24 after a top court annulled its museum status.
“God willing, we will perform Friday prayers all together on July 24 and reopen Hagia Sophia to worshipping,” Erdogan said in an address to the nation.
“Like all our mosques, the doors of Hagia Sophia will be wide open to locals and foreigners, Muslims and non-Muslims.”
The Council of State, Turkey’s highest administrative court, on Friday unanimously revoked a 1934 cabinet decision making it a museum.
Erdogan then swiftly handed over the administration of the “Hagia Sophia Mosque” to the religious affairs directorate to reopen it for Muslim worship.
The stunning edifice was first built in the sixth century as a Christian cathedral under the Byzantine Empire as the centrepiece of Constantinople.
After the Ottoman conquest in 1453, it was converted into a mosque before…
Source: Guardian Newspaper