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Tokyo

Cyprus President criticized the transformation of Hagia Sophia into a mosque

The President of Cyprus Nikos Anastasiadis said that the decision to make the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul the mosque is a desecration of the world heritage site.

"The decision of the Council of State of Turkey to turn Hagia Sophia into a mosque is another problem for the civilized world and represents it in international organizations. It is a historical deviation, and the desecration of world heritage, with special emotional value for all Christians on earth" - wrote Anastasiadis on his page in Facebook.

The state Council, Turkey's highest administrative court - July 10, 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 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.

The decision to turn the Hagia Sofia mosque caused a sharp reaction in many countries of the world.