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The Hagia Sophia will be the first since 1934 namaz

First after 86-year hiatus Muslim service will be held Friday at the Cathedral of St. Sophia (Hagia Sophia) in Istanbul, converted into a mosque, the namaz, are expected to attend Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan.

The state Council, Turkey's highest administrative court – July 10, annulled the decision of 1934 the transformation of Hagia Sophia into a Museum. Immediately after that, Erdogan announced that he had signed a decree about the transformation of the Cathedral into a mosque and the beginning of Muslim worship there.

In UNESCO, the number of States of the world and in the Russian Orthodox Church, unfortunately, reacted to this decision. At the same time Turkey promised to keep, as before, the Christian mosaics and frescoes of the Cathedral – they are closed by curtains only at the time of namaz. Tourists who previously had to pay for entrance to the Hagia Sophia 100 Turkish Lira (about $ 15), will now be able to visit it for free.

The pandemic coronavirus infection, the authorities decided to limit the number of invitees – it was 1453 people on the year of the conquest of Constantinople by the Ottoman Turks as the Hagia Sophia in Turkey is considered a symbol of this historic event. About 500 people will perform the prayer inside Hagia Sophia, and the rest will pray outside, decided to allocate five sites for the faithful to prayers, adjacent to the mosque.

The area around the mosque is cordoned off, 11 points created by checkpoints of the police, where members of the prayer can pass the test with temperature measurement. Mask for the participants of the prayer obligatory. The event will run 736 physicians, more than 100 ambulances and ambulance helicopter. In public order protection will involve about 20 thousand police officers.

Hagia Sophia - Aya Sofia was founded by the Christian Emperor Justinian and inaugurated on 27 December 537. The Cathedral is about 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, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk became a Museum and was subsequently included in the world heritage list of UNESCO.

Discussions about the transformation of Hagia Sophia into a mosque was carried out in Turkey over the last few decades, periodically flaring up with new force and again fading, finding support in the government. Erdogan, becoming first Prime Minister and then President of the country until last year offered not to disturb the existing international consensus regarding the Aya Sofia and the first to fill the worshipers located near a huge mosque.

However, since may of this year, the talk of a possible change in the status of Hagia Sophia went in the nearest environment of the President, finding his obvious support. The mood of Turkish citizens also began to lean in the direction of turning the Museum into a mosque. As shown by the latest opinion polls, 60% of Turks considered it right to make the Hagia Sophia a mosque for Museum status was made by 27%, undecided of 12.2%.

The results of public opinion polls and General attitude of the Turkish citizens are the reason that the main opposition Republican people's party of Turkey, established by Ataturk, has not expressed explicit disagreement with the decision of the authorities, which openly announced the signature of the founder of the Turkish Republic under the decision of the transformation of the mosque of Hagia Sophia into a Museum "mistake."

The head of the CHP, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, did not accept the invitation to participate in the first prayer in the Aya Sofia, but prominent figures in the party, for example, Muharrem ince, who ran for President of Turkey in the last election, agreed to come. It is expected the service and another prominent member of IUU fishing, Istanbul mayor Ekrem Imamoğlu, but to attend such events it is necessary under the status, and besides, he always knew how to get along with all the voters from the religious to the secular-minded.

After the decision of Turkey to many countries of the Christian world made statements to different degrees of condemnation and concern. The most actively protested against the decision of the Turkish authorities Greece, and received an expected and welcomed by most Turkish companies answers official Ankara that the Hagia Sophia is the property of Turkey, and all the actions associated with it - its purely a sovereign matter.

The Russian foreign Ministry, allowing to speak of the Russian Orthodox Church condemning change the status of Hagia Sophia, made a cautious statement about what he hopes for your understanding of this topic by Turkey. As stated by the press Secretary of the President Dmitry Peskov, the Turkish partners explained that the Hagia Sophia will be saved as a world heritage site, adding that the change in its status is unlikely to affect relations of Russia and Turkey, and Russian tourists will benefit from the fact that the entrance will be free.