Erdogan: First Muslim prayer at Hagia Sophia attended by 350,000 people
Aya Sophia has returned to its original state and will now continue to serve all believers as a mosque, the Turkish President said.
The first Muslim prayer after the conversion of Hagia Sophia from a museum into a mosque was attended by 350 thousand worshippers. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said this to journalists on July 24, 2020, reports Ukrinform.
"According to the information I’ve just received, 350,000 people attended Friday prayer," the Turkish leader said after the first Muslim prayer in 86 years was held at Hagia Sophia.
"As a cultural heritage of all humanity, it [Hagia Sophia Mosque – Ed.] is a place where people of all religions can come and visit," Erdogan said.
He underlined that the monument now returned to its "roots" and would serve all believers.
"Now, this place has returned to its roots, it was a mosque and has become a mosque again. Now, I hope it will continue to serve all believers forever as a mosque."
At the end of the prayer, the President of Turkey visited the burial place of Fatih Sultan Mehmet, who conquered Constantinople in 1453 and turned the Hagia Sophia into the main mosque of the Ottoman state.