°
Ashburn

Cyprus condemned the transformation of Hagia Sophia into a mosque

Cyprus condemns Turkey's actions to change the status of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul into a mosque and urged Ankara to respect international obligations, said the Minister of foreign Affairs of Cyprus Nikos Hristodulidis.

According to him, growing a flagrant violation of Turkey's international obligations is evident in its decision to change the status of Hagia Sophia, a world heritage site, symbol of the Orthodox faith.

"Cyprus strongly condemns the actions of Turkey in relation to the Hagia Sophia in its efforts to deflect attention inside the country and called on Turkey to respect its international obligations", - said the foreign Minister of Cyprus.

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

The Cathedral of Sveta Sofia (Hagia Sophia) was founded by the Christian Emperor Justinian, and was opened on 27 December 537. Cathedral over 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.