Muslim ceremony performed in Hagia Sophia ahead of first prayers | LIVE (video-photos)

The official opening is scheduled for 10 am

Turkish President Erdogan arrived at the Hagia Sophia a little before 12pm as the Islamic ceremony has started before the Islamic prayer begins later.

With T-shirts printed with the figures of Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Mohammed the Conqueror along with the provocative message “we broke the chains of Hagia Sophia”, thousands of Turks have gathered outside the Hagia Sophia overnight, waiting for the official opening at 10 a.m. The Friday morning prayer will be attended by Turkey’s President Erdogan, who may address a speech to the Turks. It will be the first time after 86 years that the Hagia Sophia, which functioned as a museum, will be a Muslim place of worship.

Preparations were intensive until the last minute, while on Thursday, Erdogan paid another visit to Hagia Sophia to oversee everything was going according to plan, even inspecting the new state-of-the-art sound systems that had been installed.