A Turkish court ruled that Hagia Sophia, a UNESCO World Heritage site, will be converted back into a mosque, overturning a 1934 decision.
Residents were seen gathered by the Hagia Sophia museum taking photos as Istanbul prepared to reopen the Hagia Sophia museum as a mosque on Tuesday.
«Work is underway to protect the figures inside or not to be seen during prayer, taking into account the descriptions of our presidency, with a special cloaking system. Hagia Sophia will not harm in the slightest way, a system that will perform its duty during the prayer is used in a special technique that will be opened when it is time for prayer to close,» said Coskun Yilmaz, Director of Istanbul Culture and Tourism
The first prayer will be performed on July 24 in Hagia Sophia and will be made by the President of Religious Affairs, Ali Erbas. 500 to 1000 people will be permitted to pray in Hagia Sophia, according to social distancing guidelines enforced to curb the spread of coronavirus.