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Turkey: Islamification drive accelerated

‘This is Hagia Sophia breaking away from its chains of captivity. It was the greatest dream of our youth … It was the yearning of our people and it has been accomplished.’

The Guardian / Al Jazeera / BBC

Figure Image
Inside Hagia Sophia | photo: iStock

These were the words of the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, after he led Muslim worshippers in the first prayers in Istanbul’s iconic Hagia Sophia. The Turkish leader and an entourage of senior ministers arrived for the service in the heart of Istanbul’s historic district on 24 July. The President began with a recital from the Qur’an before the head of Turkey’s religious authority, Ali Erbas, continued the formal prayers.