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Hagia Sophia tourist attraction on the rise

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    Hagia Sophia tourist attraction on the rise

    The Hagia Sophia, or Aya Sofyanın in Turkish, is one of Istanbul's biggest tourist attractions.
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    Hagia Sophia nowadays is functioning as a mosque. However, this was not always the case. Hagia Sophia served as a church for 916 years until 1453. then it changed functions again for 500 years from 1453 to 1934 as a mosque. and finally, it served as a museum until two years ago for 86 years.

    Hagia Sophia opened up as a mosque again two years ago. A move made by the president of the Turkey, which was frowned upon by many including the Pope. Hagia Sophia which is in the UNESCO world heritage since 1985, was turned into a mosque after a Turkish court annulled a 1934 Cabinet decree that had turned Hagia Sophia into a museum. The monument was restored to its former glory as the Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque on July 24, 2020, with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan joining hundreds of worshipers for the first Muslim prayer in 86 years inside Hagia Sophia.
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    Now, after two years of functioning as a mosque, Hagia Sophia hosts 6.5 million visitors. Being such a historic place, its a special destination for those who want to convert to Islam. Apparently, conversion ceremony to Islam is held 4 or 5 times a day in the historic mosque.