ABUJA 

South Africa will live broadcast the first Friday prayer at Hagia Sophia Mosque that will conducted after nearly 90 years. 

Deputy head of South Africa Awqaf Foundation Mickael Collier told Anadolu Agency that television and radio channels in South Africa will broadcast the historical event.

“July 24 is of great importance for Muslims as the Hagia Sophia Mosque will open to worship after 86 years,” Collier said.

Among the channels that will broadcast the event are ITV, Salaam Media, CII International Radio 786, Voice of the Cape, Radio Islam, and Radio Al Ansaar.

He said broadcast will take place at 12 p.m. local time (1000GMT).

Hagia Sophia is among Turkey’s top tourism destinations for domestic and foreign visitors.

In 1985, during its time as a museum, Hagia Sophia was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List.

It served as a church for 916 years until the conquest of Istanbul, and a mosque from 1453 to 1934 — nearly 500 years — and most recently as a museum for 86 years.

A Turkish court annulled a 1934 Cabinet decree July 19 that turned Hagia Sophia into a museum, paving the way for its use as a mosque.

In the new era for Hagia Sophia, Turkey’s Religious Affairs Directorate will oversee religious services at the mosque, while the Culture and Tourism Ministry will supervise restoration and conservation work.

The architectural treasure will also be open to domestic and foreign tourists free of charge.

*Writing by Sena Guler

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