First prayers in Hagia Sophia to be held on 24 July

The Istanbul Monument Hagia Sophia which has been converted back into a mosque will hold its first prayers on 24 July according to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Hagia Sophia
First prayers in Hagia Sophia to be held on 24 July.

According to President Erdogan, Hagia Sophia will no longer have any entrance fee for any Muslim, Christians or foreigners and all local and foreign tourists will be allowed entry into the mosque for free.

The complete conversion of the mosque will take around six months according to the president and the building will be preserved including all the Chirstian icons keeping it in a good state for both Christians and Muslims.

The Conversion of the Hagia Sophia from a museum into a mosque received a lot of criticism online as the building was originally built almost 1,500 years ago as a Greek Orthodox Cathedral that was changed into a mosque in 1453 by the Ottomans.

However, soon after the fall of the Ottoman Empire in 1934, the founding father of Turkey Mustafa Kemal Attaturk turned the mosque into a museum until a few days ago when the top court in the country declared the conversion unlawful.

President Erdogan signed a decree announcing to turn the monument back into a place of worship for Muslims but promised to keep it accessible to tourist and everyone else.

Read more: Istanbul Monument Hagia Sophia turned back into a mosque.

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