Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announces that the first prayers to be held in Hagia Sophia on July 24 while addressing the nation on Friday.
Turkish President said that the Hagia Sophia will be open to Muslims, Christians, and all foreigners. He also said that the entrance fee for the Hagia Sophia will be lifted and it will be open for foreign and local tourists.
According to President, there would be 6-month work required to its complete conversion and it will be in a good state for both Muslims and non-Muslims.
Turkey’s President Erdogan on opening Hagia Sophia for worship said that it is an expression of the fact that Turkey has much more to say, tt reminds Turkey of its strength and a greeting made to all mosques, sanctuaries across the country.
“There are 435 churches and synagogues open for worship in Turkey and it is the manifestation of our understanding that sees differences as wealth”, he added.
Erdogan said that instead of discussing the Hagia Sophia, the world should look into rising anti-Islamic and Xenophobic sentiments.
“It is a domestic issue, we expect the same understanding from others”, he added on.
Erdogan stressed that the same logic would apply for both turning the Vatican into a museum and insisting to keep the Hagia Sophia as a museum.
During his speech, President Erdogan also recited a lot of poetry on Istanbul, and Sultan Mehmed II the conqueror of Istanbul, and also quoted the Sultan’s curse against those who would attempt to change the form of the building other than a mosque.
He ended his speech by saying that the “revival of the Hagia Sophia as a mosque is ushering the news for the liberation of Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.”
“This decision is the footsteps of the willpower that will take Muslims out of interregnum”, he concluded.
Earlier on Friday, Turkey’s top administrative court ruled that the 1934 conversion of Hagia Sophia into a museum was illegal, paving way for the historic monument to be opened for prayers.
Turkey’s President Erdogan has signed the decree stating that Hagia Sophia is now under the department for religious affairs, open for prayers after a court annuls conversion into a museum.