The decision of Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan about the transformation of the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul into a mosque is able to "influence the course of history" and does not serve the promotion of peace and interfaith harmony, said Deputy head of the Department for external Church relations (DECR) of the Moscow Patriarchate Archpriest Nikolai Balashov.
Turkey's President on Friday signed a decree on awarding the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul to the status of the mosque. Before that, the state Council of Turkey annulled the decision of 1934 about the Museum the status of a Cathedral.
Hagia Sophia in Istanbul is an integral part of Orthodox history and culture, and there is hope for statesmanship of a Turkish leader Tayyip Erdogan as the transformation of the Cathedral-Museum into a mosque threatens consequences, said on Thursday, RIA Novosti Deputy head of the Department for external Church relations (DECR) of the Moscow Patriarchate Archpriest Nikolai Balashov.
The Supreme administrative court of Turkey, the state Council on Thursday considered the question of changing the status of Hagia Sophia into a mosque. The state Council believes that to change the status of the Cathedral is the presidential decree, reported by the Greek TV ERT. The decision will be announced within 15 days.