Turkey’s mosques reopen as part of normalization

Mosques across Turkey have reopened after 74 days of closure as part of the normalization process amid a slowdown in the COVID-19 spread.

Many citizens in Istanbul gathered at the Sultanahmet Mosque for the Friday prayers, following social distancing, reports Xinhua news agency.

Wearing facial masks, people also performed the prayer at the yard of the mosque and at the Sultanahmet Square.

Police officers were seen patrolling the square to ensure security.

On Tuesday, local workers had conducted detailed disinfection works in the mosque, which is also a major tourist attraction spot in the city.

It is also known as the Blue Mosque because of blue tiles surrounding its walls.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday announced that a series of bans imposed on a wide range of activities would also be lifted next week.

Restaurants, cafes, parks, beaches, and sports facilities will be allowed to resume their operations as of June 1 in line with the new normalization steps.