The expert commented on the decision of Turkey's Hagia Sophia

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has decided to turn Hagia Sophia into a mosque, to raise the popularity of the Turkish leader behaves like the sultans of the Ottoman Empire, said to RIA Novosti, the Greek expert, columnist, the former head of the Athens news Agency AMNA Michalis Psilos.

"Erdogan, fully identifying himself with the Ottoman sultans turned Hagia Sophia into a mosque and has strengthened its declining popularity in the case of an election, which can be arranged in the near future," said Psilos.

According to him, since the coming to power of the Islamic Party of justice and development in 2002, Erdogan avoided public calls for the transformation of Hagia Sophia into a mosque.

"Until 2019, Erdogan has adhered to the strategic position of silence about his true intentions for Hagia Sophia. Only when he realized that he was losing in the elections of Istanbul, Erdogan expressed his intention to open Hagia Sophia as a mosque. But it could not stop the victory of the opposition," says Psilos.

"In terms of the collapse of the economy, Erdogan believes he's found a way to regain his ever decreasing popularity. So he put the Hagia Sophia in the centre of the annual celebrations of the conquest of Istanbul may 29," - said the expert.

However, in his opinion, the actions of Erdogan's transformation of Hagia Sophia into a mosque even more polarize the deeply divided society of Turkey in the ongoing political war.

"It will also lead to further alienation of the country from the West," said the analyst.

According to him, it doesn't bother Erdogan, he is only interested in how to divert the attention of the voters from his failures in economic policy.

"Erdogan never listens to anyone who might warn him that his actions Hagia Sophia will create more problems than it can solve. So he plans to hold a large prayer service in St. Sophia Cathedral on July 15, in celebration of the failed coup attempt against him in 2016," said Psilos.

The state Council, Turkey's highest administrative court on Friday annulled the decision of 1934 the transformation of Hagia Sophia into a Museum. Immediately after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that he had signed a decree about the transformation of the Cathedral into a mosque and the beginning of Muslim worship there.