Turkish President visits Hagia Sophia before first Friday prayers

Turkish President visits Hagia Sophia before first Friday prayers

Turkish President visits Hagia Sophia before first Friday prayers

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan visited Hagia Sophia, a World Heritage monument which he turned into a mosque, to inspect how the ‘conversion’ was going before the first Friday prayer.

Inside, turquoise-coloured carpet chosen by the president himself, has been laid on the marble floor.

The mosaics will be covered up with curtains during the prayers, officials have said.

 

 

In a press conference Governor of İstanbul Ali Yerlikaya said five different open spaces were reserved for worshipers to prevent overcrowding and possible coronavirus infections.

Erdoğan is scheduled to join hundreds of worshipers for the first Muslim prayers in the Istanbul landmark in 86 years following its conversion back into a mosque.

On Thursday, Turkey also appointed three imams for Hagia Sophia: Mehmet Boynukalin, a professor of Islamic law at Istanbul’s Marmara University, and Ferruh Mustuer and Bunjamin Topcuoglu, the imams of two other Istanbul mosques.

Erbas also named five muezzins – the officials who make the Muslim call for prayer – for Hagia Sophia, including two from Istanbul’s famed Blue Mosque.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan signed the decree on July 10, allowing the operation of Hagia Sophia as a “functioning mosque”, according to which the country’s General Directorate of Religious Affairs would take control of the building.