Hagia Sophia holds first Muslim Friday prayers in 86 years July 24, 2020

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Hagia Sophia holds first Muslim Friday prayers in 86 years July 24, 2020

ISLAMABAD-In Istanbul, Muslims will offer Friday prayer at Hagia Sophia today after 86 years.

Talking to media, the Governor of Istanbul Ali Yerlikaya said everyone is looking forward to attending the special prayers with great enthusiasm.

Stressing the measures being taken against the coronavirus, he said five different open spaces are reserved for worshipers to prevent overcrowding.

Ali Yerlikaya said the worshippers who come to Hagia Sophia should bring their own masks and prayer rugs as well as patience and understanding to protect against the coronavirus.

Hagia Sophia is among Turkey's top tourism destinations for both domestic and foreign visitors.

In 1985, during its time as a museum, Hagia Sophia was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List.

It served as a church for 916 years until the conquest of Istanbul, and a mosque from 1453 to 1934 and most recently as a museum for 86 years.

On 10th of this month, a Turkish court annulled a 1934 Cabinet decree that had turned Hagia Sophia into a museum, paving the way for its use again as a mosque after 86-years.

The architectural treasure will also be opened to domestic and foreign tourists free of charge.