Islamist 'Dictatorship' Turkey nominates permanent imam for Hagia Sophia.(Ekathimerini).
A few months after a controversial decision by Turkish authorities to allow readings from the Quran to be broadcast from Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, reports on Friday said Turkey had decided to appoint a permanent imam for the venue.
According to the Anadolu state news agency, the country’s religious affairs directorate and the mufti of the Fatih district have agreed to assign a permanent imam who will lead five daily prayers, instead of the current two.
While the position was foreseen in the plans of 1935, when Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque under Kemal Ataturk, until recently prayers were led by visiting imams.
There had been no official reaction from Athens by late Friday.
Built as a Christian basilica in the 6th century, Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque following the conquest of Constantinople by the Ottoman army in 1453.
In June, readings were held at Hagia Sophia for the first time in 80 years – a move seen by critics as a violation of the monument’s formally neutral status. The move drew protests from the Greek Foreign Ministry.
Last month, the Turkish strongman attacked the 1923 Lausanne Treaty that defined the borders of modern Turkey. Read the full story here.
#Turkey gov't appoints a full time Imam to lead daily & Friday prayers at Hagia Sophia in Istanbul after 80 years in hiatus. pic.twitter.com/Rbu0u9Qn6e— Abdullah Bozkurt (@abdbozkurt) October 25, 2016
The new Imam who led the first Friday prayer in Hagia Sophia decades after is a fan of kickboxing & martial arts pic.twitter.com/aAMnRCmq1k— Abdullah Bozkurt (@abdbozkurt) October 25, 2016