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2022 PMO News

His Majesty Visits Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque

His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar 'Ali Saifuddien Sa'adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam visited historical sites in Istanbul, Republic of Türkiye namely the Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque, Topkapı Palace Museum, and Dolmabahçe Palace. His Majesty first visited the Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque. The Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque is an important Byzantine structure in Istanbul and one of the world's most renowned monuments. It was built as a church in the sixth century. Following the arrival of Islam, the building was added with minarets and Islamic inscriptions and then turned into a mosque. During the reign of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, Hagia Sophia was turned into a museum and later announced as a mosque again in 2020 by His Excellency Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President of the Republic of Turkey. 

His Majesty was greeted on arrival by Mr. Osman Nak, Director of Culture, Registry and Museums. His Majesty was then briefed on the history and background of the mosque as well as viewed several of its areas. His Majesty also performed a tahyatul masjid sunnah prayer. 

Upon arrival at Topkapi Palace Museum, His Majesty was greeted by Mr. Ilhan Kocaman, Deputy Executive Director of National Palaces. His Majesty toured several exhibitions including holy Islamic relics, armoury of Islamic warfare as well as former main residences and administrative headquarters for the sultans of the Ottoman Empire. The Topkapi Palace Museum opened as a museum in 1924. 

At the end of the visit, His Majesty proceeded to the Dolmabahçe Palace, where His Majesty was greeted on arrival by Mr. Yasin Yildiz, Director of National Palaces. His Majesty viewed the history of the building as the first European-style palace in Istanbul that was built by Sultan Abdulmejid First in the 19th century. 

Following the visits, His Majesty was then invited to board a yacht to cruise along the Bosphorus Strait. Also present was His Excellency Mustafa Varank, Minister of Industry and Technology of the Republic of Türkiye. 

His Majesty's visit to these historical sites, among other things, provided the opportunity to strengthen people-to-people ties between both countries through deeper understanding of the social, political and economic growth of the Republic of Türkiye, that is rich in culture, civilisation and history.

News courtesy of Radio Television Brunei
Photo courtesy of InfoFoto