Istanbul (AFP) – A Muslim cleric has for the first time in 85 years recited the Koran in the Hagia Sophia, the world famous landmark of Istanbul which is now a museum after serving as a church and a mosque, reports said Saturday.
The Hagia Sophia was turned into a museum accessible to all by the secular founders of modern Turkey in the 1930s and secular Turks are wary of any moves to re-Islamise the building.
A passage from the Koran, the holy scripture of Islam, was recited late Friday at a ceremony in the Hagia Sophia to mark the opening of a new exhibition “Love of the Prophet.”
It was read by Ali Tel, imam at the Ahmet Hamdi Akseki Mosque in Ankara, the official Anatolia news agency said.
The ceremony was attended by top Turkish officials including the head of the country’s religious affairs agency Diyanet, Mehmet Gormez…