Turkey names three imams, including professor, for Hagia Sophia

By: |
Published: July 23, 2020 11:10 PM

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is scheduled join hundreds of worshipers Friday for prayers inside the former Byzantine cathedral that became a mosque with the 1453 Muslim conquest of Istanbul and then a museum in 1934 after Turkey became a secular republic.

Erdogan issued a decree restoring the iconic 6th century building as a mosque this month after a Turkish high court ruled that the Hagia Sophia had been illegally made into a museum more than eight decades ago. (Reuters)

Turkey on Thursday appointed appointed three imams for Hagia Sophia, one of them a professor of religious studies, as the nation prepares for the first Muslim prayers in the Istanbul landmark in 86 years following its conversion back into a mosque.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is scheduled join hundreds of worshipers Friday for prayers inside the former Byzantine cathedral that became a mosque with the 1453 Muslim conquest of Istanbul and then a museum in 1934 after Turkey became a secular republic.

Erdogan issued a decree restoring the iconic 6th century building as a mosque this month after a Turkish high court ruled that the Hagia Sophia had been illegally made into a museum more than eight decades ago. The move was met with dismay in Greece and the United States and from Christian church leaders.

The head of Turkey’s religious authority, Ali Erbas, on Thursday announced the appointment of the three imams who will lead prayers at the reconverted mosque: Mehmet Boynukalin, a professor of Islamic law at Istanbul’s Marmara University, and Ferruh Mustuer and Bunjamin Topcuoglu, the imams of two other Istanbul mosques.

Erbas also named five muezzins – the officials who make the Muslim call for prayer for Hagia Sophia, including two from Istanbul’s famed Blue Mosque. Authorities have designated segregated areas outside of the Hagia Sophia for men and women wanting to join Friday’s inaugural prayers. Several roads leading to the building are being blocked. Authorities have said as many as 17,000 security personnel would be on duty.

Get live Stock Prices from BSE, NSE, US Market and latest NAV, portfolio of Mutual Funds, calculate your tax by Income Tax Calculator, know market’s Top Gainers, Top Losers & Best Equity Funds. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Financial Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest Biz news and updates.

Next Stories
1COVID-19: First students resume class in Germany after coronavirus shutdown
2US election 2020: Key advantage in battleground states could re-elect Trump, says his son Donald Trump Jr
3RNC: Decision on private Trump renomination vote not final