Menu
NEWS

In pictures: Friday prayers held in iconic Hagia Sophia after 86 years

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday led the first Muslim prayers attended by thousands in Hagia Sophia since the iconic Istanbul cathedral was converted back into a mosque.

The UNESCO World Heritage site in historic Istanbul was first built as a cathedral in the Christian Byzantine Empire but was converted into a mosque after the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in 1453.

The Council of State, the highest administrative court, on July 10 unanimously cancelled a 1934 decision by modern Turkey’s founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk to turn it into a museum, saying it was registered as a mosque in its property deeds.

Erdogan then swiftly ordered the building to reopen for Muslim worship.

He recited a verse from the Quran on Friday while wearing an Islamic skullcap after earlier recitations from the holy book in the morning inside Hagia Sophia.

The sounds of the call to prayer from its four minarets reverberated around the area and on Turkish television screens.

Erdogan said 350,000 people had taken part in the prayer in and around Hagia Sophia.

Men wait on July 24, 2020 outside Hagia Sophia in Istanbul to attend the Friday prayer, the first muslim prayer held at the landmark since it was reconverted to a mosque. — AFP
Men wave a Turkish national flag as people gather on July 24, 2020 outside Hagia Sophia in Istanbul to attend the Friday prayer, the first muslim prayer held at the landmark since it was reconverted to a mosque. — AFP

Men wave flags in jubilation as people gather on July 24, 2020 outside Hagia Sophia in Istanbul to attend the Friday prayer, the first muslim prayer held at the landmark since it was reconverted to a mosque. — AFP
A man wearing a traditional Ottoman costume arrives with others on July 24, 2020 outside Hagia Sophia in Istanbul to attend the Friday prayer, the first muslim prayer held at the landmark since it was reconverted to a mosque. — AFP

A man raises his arms in joy as people gather on July 24, 2020 outside Hagia Sophia in Istanbul to attend the Friday prayer, the first muslim prayer held at the landmark since it was reconverted to a mosque. — AFP
A large group of men wait on July 24, 2020 outside Hagia Sophia in Istanbul to attend the Friday prayer, the first muslim prayer held at the landmark since it was reconverted to a mosque. — AFP

A man holds an Islamic flag inside Hagia Sophia on July 24, 2020 in Istanbul, as worshippers arrive for the first Muslim prayers since the reconversion of the iconic Istanbul cathedral into a mosque. — AFP 
A picture shows the dome inside Hagia Sophia on July 24, 2020 in Istanbul, during the first Muslim prayers since its reconversion into a mosque. — AFP


Worshippers remove their shoes as they arrive in Hagia Sophia, in Istanbul, on July 24, 2020, for the first Muslim prayers since its reconversion into a mosque. — AFP
A woman prays in Hagia Sophia, in Istanbul, on July 24, 2020, during the first Muslim prayers since 1934 — AFP

A man prays in Hagia Sophia, in Istanbul, on July 24, 2020, during the first Muslim prayers since 1934 — AFP
Men perform the Friday prayer on July 24, 2020 outside Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. — AFP

Men perform Friday prayers in congregation outside Hagia Sofia in Istanbul, Turkey, July 24, 2020. — AFP
A handout picture taken and released on July 24, 2020, by the Turkish Presidential Press service shows Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan (C) and invited guests attending Friday prayers at Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque during the official opening ceremony of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. — AFP

A handout picture taken and released on July 24, 2020, by the Turkish Presidential Press service shows Turkey´s President Tayyip Erdogan (C) and invited guests attending Friday prayers at Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque during the official opening ceremony of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. — AFP
A handout picture taken and released on July 24, 2020, by the Turkish Presidential Press service shows Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan and invited guests attending Friday prayers at Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque during the official opening ceremony of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. — AFP
2+

No Comments

    Leave a Reply