- Title: Turkey will cover Hagia Sophia mosaics during prayers - ruling party spokesman
- Date: 13th July 2020
- Summary: ANKARA, TURKEY (JULY 13, 2020) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) AK PARTY SPOKESPERSON OMER CELIK SAYING: "Pope had mentioned it with a sentence but you have to see this, after the conquest of Istanbul, there was no disrespect against Hagia Sophia. Keeping the frescoes, keeping the icons inside, Turkey has shown the necessary respect to protect the frescoes and icons inside Hagia Sophia and preserve the Christian heritage there."
- Embargoed: 27th July 2020 19:57
- Keywords: AK Party spokesperson Omer Celik Hagia Sophia Istanbul Mosque Turkey museum
- Location: ANKARA AND ISTANBUL, TURKEY
- City: ANKARA AND ISTANBUL, TURKEY
- Country: Turkey
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA003CMN8L6V
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Mosaics in Istanbul's ancient Hagia Sophia will be covered by curtains or lasers during times of Muslim prayer, the spokesman for Turkey's ruling AK Party said on Monday (July 13), after President Tayyip Erdogan converted the museum into a mosque.
The Christian icons would be uncovered and be open to all visitors at other times, and admission would be free of charge, the AKP's Omer Celik said. It was not immediately clear how the lasers would work.
On Friday, a Turkish court ruled that the building's conversion to a museum in 1934 was unlawful and Erdogan, declaring it a mosque, said the first prayers would be held there within two weeks.
The move drew international criticism and concern, including from Greece, the United States and Russia, as well as UNESCO and Pope Francis, who said he was hurt by the decision.
(Production: Yesim Dikmen)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None