On July 24, 2020, in Istanbul, at the Hagia Sophia (Hagia Sophia Mosque), for the first time in 86 years, namaz, a canonical prayer, was held. The last time something like this happened in this place was in 1934, at the same time the founder of the modern secular Turkish state Kemal Ataturk decided to turn the monument of Byzantine architecture into a museum.
A correspondent visited the site RIA News"However, many who came politely refused to comment on what was happening to the media from Russia. The opinions of those who agreed to assess the situation were divided.
One part of the respondents was delighted with the transformation of the cathedral into a mosque. They believe that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan did everything right. In 1453 Sultan Mehmet II (the Turks call him Fatih) conquered Constantinople and turned the Patriarchal Orthodox Cathedral into a mosque. Today's Turkish nationalists call this a "symbol of victory" and believe that their country has become "great" again. The second - does not agree with such statements. In their opinion, Erdogan is trying to divert the attention of ordinary citizens from economic difficulties, drowning people's discontent in populism.
We have been waiting for this for 86 long years. From the moment of its conquest, Hagia Sophia has been the main symbol of our victory, and finally historical justice has been restored
- says the owner of one of the small clothing stores Abdullah.
This is a historic event. Finally, now we can pray here in the great Hagia Sophia mosque. Our dream came true thanks to the president, who by the will of Allah makes our country great again, like in the time of Sultan Fatih
- said Nuri, who came to the prayer.
The fact that the Hagia Sophia, created by Christians, is forcibly transmitted to another religion, jars me. The best decision was made by Ataturk: the status of a museum suits everyone - both Muslims and Christians, does not bother anyone. The transformation of Hagia Sophia into a mosque means that it has been announced to the world: the country is moving from a secular republican regime to a Sharia regime
- declared the Turk, who introduced himself as Jesurkhan.
Here is Hagia Sophia for everyone, let's rejoice at how great we are. Of course, asking people about the economy after such a "victory" will seem to be inconvenient
- convinced Hasan, an employee of the local currency exchange bureau.
Note that Erdogan also took part in the prayer, who, before the start of the service, recited the first surah from the Koran - "Al-Fatiha" (Opener). The Turkish leader is not flirting with local nationalists and religious radicals. He himself is an inveterate nationalist, modestly calling his views "political Islam."
His entire life path proves this since 1973, when he graduated from a religious lyceum. In 1976 he became the chairman of the youth cell of the National Salvation Party. In the 1980s, he achieved an ascent to the highest echelon of the Welfare Party, and in 2001 he organized the Justice and Development Party. All of these structures are Islamist.