The billionaire and the head of the Federal national-cultural autonomy (fnka) the Greeks of Russia Ivan Savvidi addressed to President Vladimir Putin with a request to participate in the struggle for the preservation of the status of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul.
Dear Vladimir Vladimirovich, I know you as a deeply religious man, the leader of the country in which Orthodoxy is one of the major religions want You to pay particular attention to the situation
Perhaps it is time that Russia once again came to the defense of the world of Christian values, expressing thus the desire of all Orthodox people, — he wrote in an open letter to the head of the state.
According to the billionaire, the situation around the Cathedral threatens to destabilize the already complicated geopolitical situation, as well as the emergence of new hotbeds of conflict.
Savvidi said that the entire Orthodox world is waiting for a “wise and peaceful” resolution of the situation
We are convinced that without Your participation to achieve this would be extremely difficult and maybe even impossible, he concluded.
The President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed a decree to change the status of Hagia Sophia on July 10. It provides for the transfer of the Church property of the office for religious Affairs of Turkey, so that it will be opened as a functioning mosque.
The Turkish government also cancelled the decree of 1935 on which the Cathedral was given the status of the Museum. Despite the fact that the Cathedral again became a mosque, the Christians will still be allowed to visit him.
In response to the actions of Ankara, the parliamentary Leader of the party “Greek solution” Kyriakos Felopulos proposed to introduce a General embargo on Turkish goods and services to close the borders to transit from Turkey. Former MEP and President of the party “Greece — another way” Noris Marias, in turn, called for the imposition of sanctions against Turkey because of the change of status of a Cathedral.
As mentioned earlier NEWS.ru in the Kremlin declined to comment on the decision of Ankara about the transformation of the Cathedral into a mosque, as it is an internal affair of Turkey. At the same time expressed the hope that Turkish authorities will take into account its value as a world heritage site.
Turkish political scientist Aydin Sezer stated that the conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque would not affect relations with Russia. However, this solution can create a long-term foreign policy issue for Turkey.