Slutsky commented on Turkey's decision on the status of Hagia Sophia
The head of the Duma Committee on international Affairs Leonid Slutsky has expressed a regret in connection with cancellation by the state Council of Turkey decision of 1934 the transformation of the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul into a Museum.
"The issue of changing the status of the Church-Museum of Hagia Sophia only formally it may seem that is an internal matter of Turkey, in fact it is not so. The Hagia Sophia, a UNESCO world heritage site, has the status of a Museum that entails a number of legal obligations on the part of the Turkish authorities on preservation of the universal value of this monument," - said Slutsky RIA Novosti.
He recalled that appeals to Ankara not to turn the Cathedral into a mosque again appealed to the UN, representatives of the clergy and the State Duma recently adopted a private address to the Turkish Parliament with a request to carefully analyze the implications of this possible solutions to preserve the interregional accord.
"It is unfortunate that until all the appeals have not conceived any action, and the court of Turkey overturned the wisest decision of Kemal Ataturk. Mosques can be a lot, but the Hagia Sophia is one, the Cathedral is unique from the point of view of historical value. Again a great pity that we in Ankara are far from that understanding," concluded the Deputy.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said that waiting for the decision of the state Council on the possibility of changing the status of Hagia Sophia and its transformation from a Museum into a mosque will do depending on him. The state Council July 2 was considered to change the status of Hagia Sophia. The state Council believes that to change the status of the Cathedral is the presidential decree.
The Turkish foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said earlier that his country has the right to change the status of a Cathedral, turning it into a mosque, without taking into account the views of other States.
The Hagia Sophia was founded by the Christian Emperor Justinian, and was opened on 27 December 537. Cathedral over a thousand years was the largest Church in the Christian world. After the capture of Constantinople by the Ottomans and the fall of the Byzantine Empire in 1453, the Cathedral was converted into a mosque but since 1934 the building by decree of the founder of the modern Turkish state Kemal Ataturk became a Museum and was included in the world heritage list of UNESCO.