The survey showed how Turkish citizens responded to prayer in the Aya Sofia
Opinions polled by RIA Novosti of Turkish citizens on their attitude to change the status of Hagia Sophia (Aya Sofia) in Istanbul and complete it on Friday, the first since 1934, the prayer is divided. Some of them will see this event return to the traditions of the Ottoman Empire in the days of her power, the other - another attack on secular principles established by the founder of the Turkish Republic by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.
In the first after a long break prayer in the Aya Sofia was attended by President Recep Tayyip erdoğan, who said Sura of the Koran al-Fatiha before the service. All, according to him, the prayer was attended by about 350 thousand Muslims.
"We've been waiting for this for a long 86 years. Since the conquest the Fatih of Istanbul, the Hagia Sophia was the main symbol of our victory, and finally historical justice is restored," said the owner of a clothing store Abdullah.
On the square in front of Hagia Sofia, which brought together thousands of Muslims to attend the namaz, of course, prevailed the same opinion. Though to find someone willing to share it with the RIA Novosti correspondent was not so easy – many people, hearing that question asked by the representative of the Russian media, politely refused.
"I came here from Konya to this historical event. Finally, we can pray here, in the great mosque of Hagia Sophia. Our dream has come true thanks to the President, who will of Allah make our country great again like in the time of Sultan Fatih (Mehmet II, who conquered Istanbul)," said one of the pilgrims who introduced himself as Nuri.
In the same vein, he expressed a few other believers, who believe that Hagia Sophia as a symbol of conquest of Istanbul by the Ottomans in 1453, must once again become a mosque during the Ottoman Empire, and historical justice has triumphed at last.
However, among the interviewed by RIA Novosti, the Turks in Istanbul and Ankara, many of those who spoke against the government's decision to change the status of Hagia Sophia.
"The building, especially religious, should be used the way it was originally conceived and built. What is the Hagia Sophia, created by Christians, by the power passed to another religion, I cringe. The best solution was adopted by Ataturk: the status of the Museum is suitable for everyone - Muslims, Christians, anybody does not cause concern. The transformation of Hagia Sophia into a mosque means that the world declared: the country is moving from the secular regime of the Republic to the regime of Sharia law," - said the official of one of the ministries in Ankara, presented as Jesurun.
"Making bright, loud to the whole world a step towards the queries of radical political groups, the nationalists, the government is trying to divert attention from the real economic problems in the country, hide from public discontent for populist curtain: say, here we all Hagia Sophia, let's celebrate how great we are. Of course, to ask questions about the economy after such a "victory" people already kind of is uncomfortable", - said the employee of the Bureau of currency exchange Hassan.
Many Turks, who are in favor of Museum status of Hagia Sophia, in General, coincide in the opinion: apart from the above mentioned reasons, they are afraid of negative international reaction and its implications for Turkey, they don't like another violation of the will of Ataturk, and they are frightened and without having a large number of mosques throughout the country, in which they see the advent of religious forces and the secular principles of the Republic.
The Supreme administrative court of Turkey on 10 July annulled the decision of 1934 the transformation of Hagia Sophia into a Museum. Immediately after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that he had signed a decree about the transformation of the Cathedral into a mosque and the beginning of Muslim worship there.
Hagia Sophia - Aya Sofia was built by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I Christian and opened 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 Kemal Ataturk became a Museum and was included in the world heritage list of UNESCO.