- Title: Turkey will cover Hagia Sophia mosaics during prayers - ruling party spokesman
- Date: 13th July 2020
- Summary: ISTANBUL, TURKEY (RECENT - JUNE 30, 2020) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF EXTERIORS OF HAGIA SOPHIA ISTANBUL, TURKEY (RECENT - JULY 6, 2020) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF INTERIOR OF HAGIA SOPHIA ANKARA, TURKEY (JULY 13, 2020) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) AK PARTY SPOKESPERSON OMER CELIK SAYING: "While Hagia Sophia serves as a mosque, it will be open to the local and foreign visitors. Icons and frescoes which represent the universal heritage of Hagia Sophia will be preserved. During the time of prayers, icons will be covered by a curtain system or a light system. This is part of our tradition as well."
- 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: LVA001CMN8L6V
- 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
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