Hagia Sophia museum

  • Erdogan joins thousands to pray for first time at Istanbul's Hagia Sophia
    ISTANBUL, July 24 (Reuters): Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan joined thousands of worshippers at Hagia Sophia on Friday for the first prayers there since he declared the monument, revered by Christians and Muslims for almost 1,500 years, a mosque once again. Erdogan and his top ministers, wearing white facemasks as a precaution against COVID-19, knelt on blue carpets at the start of a ceremony which marks the return of Muslim worship to the ancient structure. An imam be
  • Turkish court weighs bid to turn Hagia Sophia into a mosque
    ANKARA, July 2 (Reuters): A Turkish court on Thursday heard a case aimed at converting the Hagia Sophia museum in Istanbul back into a mosque and will announce its verdict within 15 days, a lawyer said, on an issue which has drawn international expressions of concern.   President Tayyip Erdogan has proposed restoring the mosque status of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, a building at the heart of both the Christian Byzantine and Muslim Ottoman empires and today one of Tu