Hide this Virgin they cannot see. While the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul has officially become a mosque, since President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s decree signed on July 10, the concern of the international community is mounting.
In an interview with NTV TV channel, Ibrahim Kalin, spokesperson for the Head of State, said that some mosaics depicting Mary and the Archangel Gabriel, placed in the direction of the Qibla, where Muslims look for prayer, would be hidden behind curtains. He added that other mosaics of Jesus and other Christian figures were not an obstacle for the prayers of Muslims as they are not located in the direction of the Qibla. But he did not say if they would remain uncovered permanently.
The decision to turn the Hagia Sophia Museum into a mosque is based on a long-standing demand from the vast majority of the Turkish people.
Apart from prayers, Hagia Sophia will be open to all visitors and tourists and all mosaics will be uncovered, authorities said. “The decision to turn the Hagia Sophia Museum into a mosque is based on a long-standing demand from the vast majority of the Turkish people. We think it makes more sense to use it as a place of worship ”, added Ibrahim Kalin. On Sunday, Erdogan went to the mosque to inspect the progress of the building preparation work before the first collective prayer scheduled for Friday for which 500 people are expected according to religious authorities.
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