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Religious scholar: recognition of the Sofia mosque will not destroy the monument of Orthodoxy

The recognition of the Church of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul the mosque is a winning political move for a Turkish leader Tayyip Erdogan and kind of defeat the Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew, with fear for the fate of this valuable cultural monument is not worth it, said RIA Novosti Director of the human rights center of world Russian people's Council, religious expert Roman Silantyev.

Earlier it became known that the Turkish state Council (Supreme administrative court) annulled the decision of 1934 the transformation of Hagia Sophia (Aya Sophia) Museum.

"I believe that it is, in principle, of the game of Erdogan, and he wins from many directions from this game. He has internal enemies, and, roughly speaking, to win in foreign policy, say, giving back in exchange for something. Man he is clever and cunning, so of course, sooner or later he would. Quite, shall we say, predictable diplomatic character", - said Silantyev.

In his opinion, within the country, Erdogan thus causes major blow to the group his main opponents – the Kemalists who advocate secular property, "it is primarily a stone in their garden."

The Agency interlocutor also noted that he sees no tragedy in this decision, Ankara.

"Whether to treat this with deep sorrow and anguish? No. Sofia a long time and was a mosque. In the mosque you can go to non-Muslims, so I personally have serious problems do not see this. The problem is, in General, is not ours, but "great" Patriarch Bartholomew. Well, even if he understands, and let him explain his believers with him, so great, there was an unpleasant event – it is the former Cathedral again became a mosque. Perhaps because of his special talents in management and diplomacy", - said Silantyev.

He also acknowledged that "certain feeling of Schadenfreude" in this regard, he has, "unfortunately". In 2018, that Patriarch Bartholomew has become one of the initiators of the deepening split in Ukraine, creating of noncanonical associations, the so-called "Orthodox Church of Ukraine."

Answering the question whether there is a risk of destruction of frescoes and other valuable exhibits of the St. Sophia Church, the expert expressed the opinion that the Turkish side will do everything gently: "If it is not destroyed, but now even more so will not do".

"And even, I'm sure plaster will not cover. Maybe something will curtain... on the other hand, making a hint of it (the destruction of Christian attributes in the Cathedral - ed.) he (Erdogan) could win some bonuses, saying then that heroically saved the murals from destruction", - concluded the expert.

Aya Sofia 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.