Arabist: Erdogan will not increase its popularity through the steps from Aya Sofia

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan approved the decision of the state Council about the transformation of Hagia Sophia into a mosque will not be able thus to increase his popularity in the country and, moreover, will receive "appropriate response" for their actions on the part of several States, considers one of the leading experts on the Christian East studies, Director General of the analytical center "Katechon" Mikhail Yakushev.

Erdogan 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.

"Political will Erdogan's "shot" and all the members of his party, providing him with support of this decision. Policy again reaches the head of all, including in order to obtain credibility in Islamic religious circles," - said RIA Novosti Yakushev.

According to him, the attempts of Christian Nations to condemn and to reason with the Turkish leader to nothing brought, because the whole course of events testified to the fact that "political order is purely political".

"I don't think this step can save Erdogan, because after all half the country, if not more, don't support him... And he went for it, so waiting for an appropriate answer - not only political, but also with those States with whom he cooperated in various fields. First of all, with Russia, which... helped him economically and militarily, showing only its good will. And we showed that such an unfriendly act," - admitted the expert.

According to him, Erdogan was "held hostage by those political circumstances which he has developed in the country." "He is unpopular and will soon be even and hate. When peddling religious matters to politics, politics always loses. Not religion, matters of religion to use for political purposes and interests. Sadly, that will do, but as they say, God wills it," - said the Agency interlocutor.

Responding to a question about whether to expect a response of the Orthodox world to these actions, Yakushev has noticed that now "to talk about a unified Orthodox world are not necessary," because it was" destroyed by the efforts (of the Patriarch - ed.) Bartholomew with the filing and by order of Washington."

As the expert believes, right now, in this sense, "Russia needs to show that she is the true leader of the Orthodox world, not Constantinople Bartholomew, who intervened in the Affairs of Russian Orthodox Church, violating her canonical territory." In 2018, with the active participation of Patriarch Bartholomew in the Ukraine was created by the so-called "Orthodox Church of Ukraine", uniting the schismatic structure in contrast to the canonical Church.

According to Yakushev, in the case of the conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque Patriarch Bartholomew "is, maybe even a direct perpetrator of such a step, because, by making a split in the Orthodox world, he gave a kind of carte Blanche for Erdogan to take such a step."

"I hope that our political leadership will make appropriate conclusions, to just not leave this anti-Christian political step. We can only hope the wisdom of our politicians and our spiritual guidance, which has still to say its word", - said Yakushev.

Saint 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.