Hagia Sophia again as a mosque. What is the consequence of the decision of Erdogan
. "To make Sofia mosque again" — President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that a few years. On Friday, 10 July 2020, he turned the threat into reality: signed the decree abolishing Museum status of Hagia Sophia. Now here again, as 86 years ago, the mosque Hagia Sophia. About how made this decision and what the consequences are — in the material RIA Novosti.
"The same day he solemnly entered the Church of Hagia Sophia, ascended the steps of the altar and said a prayer for the glory of Allah that brought him the victory. Then he ordered to remake the Church into a mosque".
Now many will be unclear about whom these lines. Whether about Mehmed II the Conqueror, the Turkish Sultan in the fifteenth century. Whether about Recep Tayyip Erdogan — the leader of modern Turkey. However, the Turks themselves have long been ironically referred to as his not the President and the Sultan.
Mehmed II for more than 15 years threatened to seize Constantinople, making it the Shrine in the mosque, in 1453 succeeded. Erdogan took less time — clearly allude to his decision, he began eight years ago. Then in front of Hagia Sophia for the first time held a mass prayers.
In December 2013, for the transformation of the Museum into a mosque has publicly commented Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet ARINC. In 2016 in the mosque Hunkar Kasri related to the Museum complex, has appointed the Imam. A year later, the local clergy launched a campaign in social networks #LetUsPray ("Let us pray"). Media reported that in one of the outbuildings of the Museum staged a model room.
In 2019 like today, conversations sounded again. President Erdogan has threatened to turn Sophia into a mosque in response to the US recognition of the sacred for Muslims (like Jews and Christians) of Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state of Israel. But then nobody believed that Erdogan will do it.
No one believed now. In may Turkish media timidly talked about changing the status of the Shrine. And the status she has all the last decade was, as they say, the neutral — Museum.
In 1934, the founding father of modern Turkish Republic Mustafa Kemal Ataturk personally instructed to do in a mosque, the Hagia Sophia Museum. This led to protests, but supporters of a secular Turkey insisted.
Incidentally, two months ago, as soon as I resumed talking about the status of Sofia, the adoption of the "triumphal decision" was expected on may 29. On this day the Sultan Mehmed II the Conqueror solemnly entered the Cathedral...
In 1453, the Orthodox Cathedral quickly turned into a mosque. The Greek clergy were allowed to carry away utensils, servants hung throughout the building flags with a Crescent, and a huge mosaic painted over.
Now acted too rapidly: it took only two stroke of a pen.
The first signature, the highest court of Turkey Council. The meeting lasted only half an hour: the chair has considered the claim of the supporters of the return to the Museum the status of the mosque.
"The Hagia Sophia was owned by Fatih Sultan Mehmet, who donated it to the Waqf (religious Foundation). According to Turkish law, the Cabinet cannot take decisions in respect of the property funds. Because resolution of 1934 on the establishment of the Museum illegally. It should be canceled," — such was the demand of the plaintiffs.
The Prosecutor of the state Council said 86 years ago Sophia was made a Museum under the law. Therefore, its status needs to be revised.
"The conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque possible when making the reverse decision by the Cabinet of Ministers, i.e. it is at the discretion of the President," he said.
After a few hours, Erdogan has put his signature.
"According to the verdict of the Council of state, the right on how to use the Hagia Sophia goes to the Office for religious Affairs (dianyu)", — stated in the presidential decree.
If the Hagia Sophia will once again hear the prayers, then the building must conform to the rules of Islam. And it is impossible for a Muslim to pray in Christian churches, because there are images of people.
Therefore, most opponents of the decision of Erdogan fear for the fate of the unique mosaic images of Christ the Saviour, the virgin, John the Baptist and angels. The representative of the President on the eve assured that they will retain.
But he said the main thing: how.
And the options are not so much. The mosaic can hang with a special fabric — but then, obviously, the tourists will see the most beautiful thing in the building. Perhaps they will close just for a moment of prayer — in this case, for believers, the mosque will be available most likely only on Fridays. The most religious supporters of Erdogan can accuse him of weakness. After the Museum "Hagia Sophia" — the most visited in Turkey. And the authorities are unlikely to agree to sacrifice his popularity.
Either the mosaic will be removed, placed on a plaster stand and put in one of the museums. But of course, they will produce it is not the effect of that now.
In fact, the builders of the Cathedral was conceived in the year 532: believers had hit a huge image of Christ and the saints in the largest temple. Surprisingly, the idea turned into reality at the time rapidly. Already in the year 537 the temple, "dedicated to the Lord and His divine Wisdom", was consecrated.
"Megaproject", in modern language, implemented on the principle "every little helps". The building materials were transported from all over the world. Some marble slabs were taken even from the territory of modern Russia. For the sake of the majestic churches were dismantled of the ancient sanctuary — fragments of the columns of the temple of Artemis at Ephesus today you can see the walls of Hagia Sophia.
That is the Shrine from the very beginning was international status. And in 1985 UNESCO declared the Cathedral a world heritage monument.
Therefore, a decision Erdogan has caused such a violent reaction around the world. The United States even threatened sanctions. However, the Turkish leader have not listens to the voice of the international community. What can we say about its own citizens — although many in Turkey are outraged by these actions of the President and believe their propaganda. The Russian foreign Ministry hopes that Ankara will take into account the global importance of the architectural monument.
"Islamist power in Turkey back to the narrow ideological purposes since it was trapped and exhausted in a political sense his reserve. I don't think Turkey needs a new mosque. Moreover, there is no such need in Sultanahmet square. In Istanbul more than enough even mosques for the Friday prayers. The blue mosque is not populated — not worth thinking about what is going to happen in Hagia Sophia," — said in an interview with radio Sputnik Turkey Istanbul journalist Merdan Yanardag.
Thus, according to him, in neighbouring Iran, officially Islamic state, two times smaller mosques. Therefore, the aim of turning Sofia into a mosque — only the "religious feelings".
It is the reaction of believers can play an important role in this story, I'm sure the Turkish theologian Cemil Kilic.
"Need not offend neither their feelings nor the feelings of Muslims. So, unfortunately, the conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque could lead to an increase in anti-Islamic sentiment in the world. In particular, under the threat there can be mosques in areas where Muslims are in the minority. Saint Sophia to the Christian world — the temple with a symbolic meaning. For this reason, we need to leave behind the war on religious grounds and to engage in the creation of the world in a global scale," he said.