Photo Story: Return of the Faithful to Turkey’s Iconic Hagia Sophia Mosque

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Women take a selfie as they attend afternoon prayers and visit Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque, for the first time after it was once again declared a mosque after 86 years, in Istanbul. (Image: Reuters)

Clarion India

ISTANBUL – Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan joined thousands of Muslims on Friday for the first prayers at Hagia Sophia in nine decades, sealing his ambition to restore Muslim worship at an ancient site which was converted into the museum from the mosque by Turkish ruler Ataturk.

Here are some glimpses of the historic Friday prayer:

Worshippers attend afternoon prayers and visit Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque, for the first time after it was once again declared a mosque after 86 years, in Istanbul, Turkey. (Image: Reuters)
People pray as they visit Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque after Friday prayers, in Istanbul, Turkey. (Image: Reuters)
ISTANBUL, TURKEY – JULY 24: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, accompanied by Turkish Parliament Speaker Mustafa Sentop, Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay, Turkey’s Communications Director Fahrettin Altun and Turkey’s Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli, prays at the Hagia Sophia Mosque, which was opened to worship after 86 years ahead of the Friday Prayer on July 24, 2020 in Istanbul, Turkey. After 86 years of serving as a museum, Istanbul iconic landmark, Hagia Sophia is set to open for prayers on Friday. Thousands of Turkish citizens from various cities flocked to Istanbul to participate in the first Friday prayer in Hagia Sophia Mosque after 86 years. ( Mustafa Kamacı – Anadolu Agency )
Muslims attend Friday prayers outside Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque, for the first time after it was once again declared a mosque after 86 years, in Istanbul, Turkey. (Image: Reuters)
Children attend afternoon prayers at Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque, for the first time after it was once again declared a mosque after 86 years, in Istanbul. (Image: Reuters)
An aerial view shows that people perform Friday Prayer, which is performed for the first time after 86 years, outside of the Hagia Sophia Mosque on July 24, 2020 in Istanbul, Turkey. After 86 years of serving as a museum, Istanbul iconic landmark, Hagia Sophia is set to open for prayers on Friday. Thousands of Turkish citizens from various cities flocked to Istanbul to participate in the first Friday prayer in Hagia Sophia Mosque after 86 years. ( Salih Zeki Fazlıoğlu – Anadolu Agency )

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