The Greek foreign Ministry condemned the reading of the Koran in Hagia Sophia in Istanbul

© RIA Novosti / Vladimir Radiooperator in fotobounce Athens. Archival photo<img src="/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2017/06/6b9599e56b10991fa8dedd0153dbbce7.jpg" alt="The Greek foreign Ministry condemned the reading of the Koran in Hagia Sophia in Istanbul” />© RIA Novosti / Vladimir Radiooperator the image Bank

The Ministry of foreign Affairs condemned the reading of the Koran and prayers in the Hagia Sophia (Aya Sofya) in Istanbul.

«We condemn the reading of the Quran and the holding of prayers in the presence of the head of the Directorate of religious Affairs of Turkey at the Hagia Sophia, which was broadcast on state television of Turkey», — reads the statement of the Greek foreign Ministry.

«Hagia Sophia is a monument recognized by UNESCO as a world cultural heritage. The attempt to turn it into a mosque, reading the Koran there, performing prayers and other actions, is an affront to the international community, which must respond to it,» — said the foreign Ministry.

According to Athens, it is a challenge to the religious feelings of Christians throughout the world and those who honor the heritage of humanity was made at a time when to promote interreligious dialogue, not undermine it.

«We call on Turkey to demonstrate the behavior of the modern and democratic country and to protect the Ecumenical character of the Hagia Sophia, to respect the long tradition of this monument,» — said in a statement.

Hagia Sophia in Constantinople more than 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, 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.

In 2016, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan daily in St. Sophia will have to read the Koran. Then Turkey’s actions provoked a strong reaction in many countries of the world.