First Quran recitation in Hagia Sophia in 85 years

mehmet görmez ayasofya
'Love of Prophet Hagia Sophia' exhibition opens to mark the birth of Prophet Muhammad.

The historic Istanbul cathedral and museum, Hagia Sophia, witnessed its first Quran recitation under its roof after 85 years Saturday.

The Religious Affairs Directorate launched the exhibition “Love of Prophet Hagia Sophia,” as part of commemorations of the birth of Islamic Prophet Muhammad.

Religious Affairs Chairman Mehmet Gormez, Undersecretary for Ministry of Culture and Tourism Ahmet Haluk and Istanbul Governor Vasip Sahin attended the opening ceremony, which saw Ali Tel, imam at modern Ahmet Hamdi Akseki Mosque in the capital Ankara, recite a passage from the Islamic holy scripture, Quran.

The historic basilica served as a cathedral for almost thousand years since 1453, when it was turned into a mosque with the conquest of Istanbul. It later was secularized and converted into a museum in 1935.