the status of the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul can be changed by the decree of the President of Turkey. This decision was made by the State Council of the country — he acts as the Supreme administrative court. The order of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk from 1934 to give the Cathedral Museum status remains legal. However, Recep Tayyip Erdogan can change this.
Seventeen minutes — the time it took the highest administrative court of Turkey, the state Council to discuss the future of one of the main symbols of Istanbul and Eastern Christianity. The meeting on the status of Hagia Sophia was closed, its decision is not yet announced. The plaintiff, acting for the Cathedral again became a mosque, insisted in 1934, the government had no right to make the mosque a Museum. The Prosecutor called the decision legitimate, but added an important detail.
“the Prosecutor, first, consider that in 1934, the decision was made correctly and within the law, therefore, we must reject the plaintiff. However, if desired, the President can assemble the Cabinet and in the same decree to cancel the status of the Museum and converting it into a mosque,” — said the chief editor of “MK” in Turkey, avtorm Telegram-channel “Agenda of Turkey,” Yasar Nijazbaev.
Commission to study the issue to change the status of Hagia Sophia from Museum to mosque – Turkey’s President gave in the beginning of June. Erdogan noted that tourists will still be able to come to this temple as the Blue mosque. Built in the first half of the VI Hagia Sophia was the jewel of Constantinople and the entire Byzantine Empire. After the fall of the Empire in the XV century, the Christian Church was converted into a mosque.
But the first President of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the Cathedral became a Museum. Painted Byzantine frescoes and mosaics were cleaned of plaster. The Cathedral called Hagia Sophia, is one of the symbols of Istanbul. But residents don’t find an agreement of what should be its status.
“If it again will meceti, we will return to our heritage. And tourism is absolutely not affected. And the nation will be reunited with their spiritual wealth,” — said a resident of Istanbul Ramazan Tembel.
“I think our country has enough places for prayer, mosques. And if you look from the point of view of economic prospects and the money that comes from tourists, I think the Cathedral should remain a Museum,” — says a resident of Istanbul, Ezgi Ozbek.
Events surrounding the temple are worried not only Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, under whose reign the Cathedral is in danger of once again becoming a mosque. With anxiety about the future of the Cathedral say in the Moscow Patriarchate. After all, having been at worship in this Church, ambassadors of the Russian Prince Vladimir felt that I do not know – on earth they are or in the sky. And at the end of the Embassy, it was decided to christen Rus.
“For millions of Christians around the world, especially Orthodox Christians, this temple is a symbol of the Byzantine Empire and a symbol of Orthodoxy. It was built in the VI century by Emperor Justinian as the Orthodox Church and became not only a miracle of architecture of its time, but the main Orthodox Church of the Eastern Roman Empire. Any attempt to change the current status of Hagia Sophia, which is now a Museum, would violate those fragile sectarian and religious balances that exists at the present time”, — says the Chairman of the Department for external Church relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, Metropolitan Hilarion.
Save the Museum the status of a Cathedral and called on the Secretary of state.
“the United States is considering changing the status of Hagia Sophia as impairing the heritage of this amazing building and its unrivalled ability to serve the much-needed humanity is the connecting link of the various religious traditions and cultures… We look forward to working with the government of Turkey on a wide range of issues of mutual interest, including the preservation of religious and cultural objects”, — expressed his point of view, the US Secretary of state Mike Pompeo.
By the way, the question of the status of the temple opens up new political prospects for the President of Turkey.
“But — question. He really wants to solve this question for himself or is he doing it for political purposes, and that the next move in order to use them at the negotiating table with some countries and issues. For example, with Greece to resolve issues on the project EastMed, for example, is a gas pipeline along the Mediterranean sea” — suggests Yashar Isabaev.
According to reports in the Greek press, the Turkish state Council ruled that the status of Hagia Sophia can be changed to “mosque” by the decree of the President. But the official confirmation or denial yet. Chief administrative court of the Republic plans to announce his decision within 15 days.