Turkish parliamentarian denies catching COVID-19 at Hagia Sophia

Hüseyin Şanverdi, southern Hatay province lawmaker of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), denied allegations on Wednesday that he caught COVID-19 after joining prayers at Istanbul's Hagia Sophia, Diken news website reported.

"The implementation of the measures was at the highest level,” he said, adding that the prayers were not the reason for him catching the disease.

On July 24, Friday prayers in the Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque marked the first Muslim prayers there in 86 years.

Some 350,000 Muslims took part in Friday prayers on July 24 both inside and outside the historical monument, including a number of AKP lawmakers.

Several reports alleged that the rules to wear protective masks and social distancing were not followed during the prayers.