By Constantinos Psillides
Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu has invited president Nicos Anastasiades to attend the Deep Purple concert in the north together, as part of the confidence building measures.
The concert is to take place on May 24, at the Near East park in Nicosia. The band was invited by Near East University to celebrate its 25th anniversary.
According to the Cyprus News Agency, Eroglu invited the president during an interview he gave to Aksam newspaper, where he reportedly protested Greek Cypriot attempts to cancel the Deep Purple concert.
“When our folk dancers go to another country the Greek Cypriot side is protesting. Likewise they tried to cancel the concert. I called Mr Anastasiades and asked him to put a halt to that but I wasn’t heard. So I asked him to come and watch the concert with me, as a confidence building measure,” he said.
The government has yet responded to the invitation or Eroglu’s comments.
Deep Purple’s decision to perform in the north sparked a lot of controversy, forcing the group frontman Ian Gillan to issue a statement on April 3 saying that the group wasn’t taking any sides and that Deep Purple had performed in many troubled regions in their touring history.
In his statement, Gillan added that he once came close to banning himself from performing for political reasons, when the group was scheduled to tour in England.