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25 July 2022, 17:46

Türkiye releases books on Hagia Sofia ahead of 2nd anniversary of its reopening as mosque

ANKARA, 25 July (BelTA - Anadolu Agensy). - Türkiye's Communications Directorate unveiled two books on Istanbul's Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque, a day ahead of the 2nd anniversary of its reopening to worship.

The books detail architectural features of the mosque, and reaction of Turks on its conversion, the Communications Directorate said in a statement.

Penning the preface of the book on architectural features of the iconic monument, Türkiye's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan touched on the historic importance of the opening of Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque, saying: “The conversion of Hagia Sophia back into a mosque is a dream come true not only for the Turkish nation but for all Muslims worldwide.”

“With its historical, religious and cultural characteristics, Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque is the best response to Islamophobia, which is on the rise particularly in Europe, and to hate crimes committed against Muslims in various parts of the world,” he added.

The Directorate will also release on Sunday a documentary telling stories of nine mosques in different cities of Anatolia, which are named Hagia Sophia, the statement added.

On July 10, 2020, 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-year hiatus.

The monument was restored to its former glory as Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque on July 24, 2020.

Hagia Sophia served as a church for 916 years and 86 years as a museum, but from 1453 to 1934, nearly 500 years, it was a mosque.

In 1985, Hagia Sophia was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. It is among Türkiye's top tourism destinations and remains open for domestic and foreign visitors.

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