In Pictures: Hagia Sophia opens as mosque after 86 years

In Pictures: Hagia Sophia opens as mosque after 86 years
Thousands of people performed Friday prayers in segregated areas outside Hagia Sophia.

Yesterday was a historic moment for the people of Turkey, when its famous site, Hagia Sophia opened up as mosque for the first time after 86 years.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was also present on the occasion.

Hagia Sophia became a museum in 1934 but earlier this month, a Turkish court annulled its museum status and saying its use as anything other than a mosque was not possible legally.

Following the decision by court, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that the museum would be used as a mosque for Friday prayers from July 24 onwards.

The iconic, domed building of Hagia Sophia is located in Istanbul's Fatih district, on the west bank of the Bosporus, overlooking the Golden Horn harbour.

Since 1934, it has since become one of country’s most visited tourist sites, hosting more than 3.7 million tourists last year.