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First Friday prayer in Hagia Sophia in 86 years in Turkey

Source : 112 Ukraine

Thousands of Muslim believers gathered for the prayer
20:10, 24 July 2020

Anadolu

In Istanbul's Hagia Sophia, the first Friday prayer in 86 years was performed, as Anadolu reports.

"The first Friday prayer in 86 years was performed at the Hagia Sophia Mosque in Istanbul," the message says.

Thousands of Muslim believers gathered for prayer in the building and in the surrounding area. As part of the program, four imams offered prayers from the four minarets of the mosque.

Sura "Fatiha" and the first six verses of Surah "Bakara" from the Holy Quran were voiced personally by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the news agency reports.

The cathedral was built in 532-537 by order of the Byzantine emperor Justinian I. Hagia Sophia was the largest church in Christendom for about a millennium.

In 1934, Hagia Sophia became a museum. Now the cathedral is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Hagia Sophia is visited by millions of tourists every year. According to the Istanbul authorities, 3.7 million tourists visited the monument in 2019 alone.

On July 10, Turkey's Supreme Administrative Court allowed the conversion of Istanbul's Hagia Sophia into a mosque. On the same day, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed a relevant decree. The World Heritage Site, considered a symbol of the conquest of Istanbul in 1453, has regained the status of a mosque, which it had been for hundreds of years.

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