Ahead of the second anniversary of the reopening of Ayasofya as mosque, Türkiye releases books detailing architectural features of the mosque, and reaction of Turks on its conversion.

The monument was restored to its former glory as Ayasofya Grand Mosque on July 24, 2020.
The monument was restored to its former glory as Ayasofya Grand Mosque on July 24, 2020. (AA)

Türkiye’s Communications Directorate has unveiled two books on Istanbul's Ayasofya Grand Mosque, a day ahead of the 2nd anniversary of its reopening for worship.

The books detail architectural features of the mosque, and reaction of Turks on its conversion, the Communications Directorate said in a statement on Saturday. 

Penning the preface of the book on architectural features of the iconic monument, Türkiye's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan touched on the historic importance of the opening of Ayasofya Grand Mosque, saying: “The conversion of Ayasofya back into a mosque is a dream come true not only for the Turkish nation but for all Muslims worldwide.”

“With its historical, religious and cultural characteristics, Ayasofya Grand Mosque is the best response to Islamophobia, which is on the rise particularly in Europe, and to hate crimes committed against Muslims in various parts of the world,” he added.

The Directorate will also release on Sunday a documentary telling stories of nine mosques in different cities of Anatolia, which are named Ayasofya, the statement added.

READ MORE: Hagia Sophia, what happens now?

One of top tourist destinations

On July 10, 2020, a Turkish court annulled a 1934 Cabinet decree that had turned Ayasofya into a museum, paving the way for its use again as a mosque after 86-year hiatus.

The monument was restored to its former glory as Ayasofya Grand Mosque on July 24, 2020.

Ayasofya served as a church for 916 years and 86 years as a museum, but from 1453 to 1934, nearly 500 years, it was a mosque.

In 1985, Ayasofya was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. It is among Türkiye’s top tourist destinations and remains open for domestic and foreign visitors. 

READ MORE: Hagia Sophia and the test of time

READ MORE: Top ten Ottoman-era mosques of Istanbul

Source: AA