Erdogan visits Hagia Sophia after reconversion to mosque

InternationalErdogan visits Hagia Sophia after reconversion to mosque

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Erdogan visits Hagia Sophia after reconversion to mosque

Ankara:Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has paid a surprise visit to Hagia Sophia just days before the first Muslim prayers are due to be held at the Istanbul landmark since it was reconverted to a mosque last week.

In a quick visit billed as an inspection, Erdogan took stock of the conversion work, the president’s office said on Sunday, providing pictures showing scaffolding inside the building.

The Diyanet, the country’s religious authority, said Christian icons would be curtained off and unlit “through appropriate means during prayer times”.

It was unclear whether Erdogan planned to be among some 500 worshippers set to attend Friday prayers.

Turkey’s top court paved the way for the conversion in a decision to revoke the edifice’s museum status conferred nearly a century ago.

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