UPDATE 2: In a new development, the Turkish President took the executive decision and personally announced that prayer will indeed take place in front of Hagia Sophia, where a fake wall has been raised for the fiesta commemorating the fall o Constantinople.
UPDATE: The initial schedule has been cancelled and the prayer will take place in the Fethiye Mosque.
Muslim mosques in Turkey will be reopening from tomorrow, Friday, the day of the fall of Constantinople (Istanbul), with the head of Turkey’s Religious Affairs Directorate declaring that he will make the morning Muslim prayer in the square between Hagia Sophia and the Sultanahmet Mosque.
“The time has come for May 29, the day that symbolizes the conquest, with Allah’s will for us to conquer those Muslim mosques that are symbols of conquest,” said Ali Erbas, head of Turkey’s Religious Affairs Directorate, referring to the anniversary of the fall of Constantinople by the Ottomans in 1453 which is on Friday 29 May. This date is celebrated as the day of “Conquest” (Fethiye) for Muslim Turks.
The choice of date the has sparked scenarios that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan may announce the conversion of the Hagia Sophia, which has been functioning as a Museum since 1953, into a Muslim mosque, something the Turkish president has repeatedly promised his followers since 2016.