BAKU, Azerbaijan, July 24
By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:
Hagia Sophia has officially started functioning as mosque, Trend reports referring to Turkish media outlets.
According to the outlets, the first Friday prayer will be performed in the Hagia Sophia on July 24.
It was noted that the day before, the Head of the Department of Religious Affairs of Turkey Ali Erbash appointed three imams (an Islamic leadership position) - Professor of Islamic Law at Istanbul University Mehmet Boyunukalin, as well as imams of other Istanbul mosques - Ferruh Mustuyer and Bundjamin Topchuoglu, and also five muezzins (appointed at a mosque to lead and recite the call to prayer for every event of prayer and worship in the mosque) as senior servants for the Hagia Sophia, which was earlier assigned the status of a mosque.
Earlier, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited the Hagia Sophia to inspect the final preparations for the final opening of the complex as a mosque.
On July 10 this year, the Turkish president signed a decree to change the status of Hagia Sophia. In accordance with this decree, the Hagia Sophia was transferred to ownership of the Turkish Religious Affairs Department and shall be used as a mosque.
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