Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan joined huge crowds on Friday for the first prayers at Hagia Sophia in nine decades, sealing his ambition to restore Muslim worship at an ancient site long revered in both Christianity and Islam. Emer McCarthy reports.
Inside Hagia Sophia, white curtains covered an image of Mary and Jesus which would have faced the worshippers. Officials have said the Christian frescoes and glittering mosaics adorning the cavernous dome and central hall will be concealed during Muslim prayer times, but remain on display for the rest of the time.
Some 200 drones lit up the sky in Istanbul late on Wednesday to mark the fourth anniversary of July 15, 2016 putsch, when rogue soldiers commandeered warplanes, tanks and helicopters, attacked parliament and tried to abduct Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, killing 250 people.