Change the status of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul is unlikely to affect relations of Russia and Turkey, said on air of “Avtoradio” press Secretary of Russian President Dmitry Peskov.
“I don’t think that would happen. We have the official position of the state, which is that it is an internal affair of Turkey is “A”. And “B,” we still hope that whatever the solution our Turkish partners will take into account the status of Hagia Sophia as an object, which is assigned to the category of cultural world heritage of UNESCO, the first, and will be taken into account that it is Holy, sacred significance for many Christians, for Orthodox Christians in the world,” Peskov said.
As said Peskov, Turkey has explained that “all will be saved at its best”, and everyone will be able to visit the Cathedral.
“More than that, I can tell you that Hagia Sophia was quite expensive tickets, and now no tickets, entry will be free. In this regard, our tourists will win”, — said Peskov.
On 10 July, the state Council of Turkey overturned the decision of the government of the country from 1934 about the transformation of Hagia Sophia into a Museum and allowed again to use it as a mosque. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan approved the decision of the state Council by decree.
Hagia Sophia, built in the VI century by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian the Great, was converted into a mosque after the capture of Constantinople by the Turkish Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror in 1453. In 1934 the decision of the secular government of Kemal Ataturk it was transformed into a Museum. Hold religious services in the Cathedral were prohibited.