ANKARA: In Turkey, the world-famous Hagia Sophia museum in Istanbul has been turned back into a mosque.
The 1,500 years old building was converted into a mosque in 1453 and became a museum in 1934 after Khilafat was dissolved. It was originally founded as a cathedral 1,500 years ago, but after the Muslim conquest it was turned into a mosque. It is now a UNESCO world heritage site.
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the decision after a court annulled the site’s museum status.
Religious people had long been vying for it to be converted into mosque, nevertheless opposition of secular members did not let it happen. Now, prayers will start in the building from July 24.
Erdogan said doors of the mosque will be open for locals and foreigners, Muslims and non-Muslims.