Today, Friday, for the first time in 86 , prayers were offered at the famous Hagia Sophia   in Istanbul, Turkey. The country's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also prayed there with everyone. This is the first time since 1934 that prayers have been offered at Hagia Sophia.

According to the BBC, many people gathered at Hagia Sophia on Friday to offer prayers. "Everyone is thrilled to be performing Friday prayers," Istanbul Governor Ali Yelikaya told local media on Thursday.
Kamal Atatুrk, who overthrew the Ottoman rulers and came to power in Turkey, turned Hagia Sophia into a museum in 1934. It is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. It is about 1,500 years old. On July 10, a Turkish court ruled that using Hagia Sophia as a mosque was legal. The court overturned its status as a museum. Later, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that prayers at Hagia Sophia would begin on July 24 (today).

The BBC reports that about a thousand people prayed inside Hagia Sophia on Friday. Many more people outside Hagia Sophia have been seen praying to get mats.

Although the country's Islamists are happy that Turkey's famous establishment, Hagia Sophia, has been declared a mosque, there is a lot of criticism at home and abroad. Hagia Sophia was founded in 538 AD. The church was used for the first 921 years, the mosque for the next 482 years and the museum for the last 86 years.


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