Permanent Imam Is Appointed at Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia Quran recitationThe position of Imam at Hagia Sophia that was established in 1936 but remained vacant for years has now been filled, as a permanent Imam has been appointed.

“Now out of the four minarets of Hagia Sophia we will be hearing the voice of the Imam five times a day when until now it was only twice a day,” Turkish media reported.

According to the decision of the Mufti of Fatih district and the Religious Affairs Service where Hagia Sophia belongs, the new permanent Imam will be responsible for all prayers of the day, Eleftheros Typos newspaper reports.

Hagia Sophia, the Orthodox Temple of Constantinople and the Byzantine Empire, was turned into a mosque in 1453, after the city was taken over by the Ottoman Empire and was renamed Istanbul. It served as a mosque until 1931. Then it was secularized, and in 1935 it was converted to a museum.

Since 2010, several Turkish officials have been calling for the turning of Hagia Sophia into a mosque again. In 2015, the Mufti of Ankara, Mefail Hızlı, stated that he believes the conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque will be accelerated.

On July 1st, 2016, the Koran was read for the first time inside Hagia Sophia by a muezzin for the first time in 85 years.

On Saturday the permanent muezzin chanted the azan, the Muslim call for prayer.