Cypriot President Calls Conversion Of Hagia Sophia Museum Into Mosque 'Blasphemous'

Cypriot President Calls Conversion of Hagia Sophia Museum into Mosque 'Blasphemous'

ATHENS (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 11th July, 2020) Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades said on Saturday that the decision by Turkey to reconvert Istanbul's Hagia Sophia museum into a mosque was blasphemous.

"The decision by the Turkish State Council to turn Hagia Sophia into a mosque is another problem for the entire civilized world and its international organizations. This is a historical rejection and desecration of a World Heritage Site, which carries particular emotional value to all Christians on earth," Anastasiades wrote on his Facebook page.

On Friday, Turkey's highest administrative court, the Council of State, annulled the 1934 decree converting Hagia Sophia into a museum, meaning it can now be used as a mosque.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has already signed the necessary decree.

Hagia Sophia was built as an Orthodox Christian cathedral by Byzantine emperor Justinian and opened its doors to believers in 537, remaining the world's largest Christian church for over a thousand years until Constantinople was captured by the Ottoman Empire and renamed Istanbul in the 15th century. Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque in 1453, in 1934 it became a museum under a Turkish cabinet decree, and in 1985 UNESCO added the building into its list of World Heritage Sites.