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May 20, 2019
Cyprus Mail
Cyprus Cyprus Talks

TMT say ‘no’ to Famagusta Good Friday service

By Staff reporter

A TURKISH Cypriot nationalist organisation has called on authorities in the breakaway regime to rescind permission for a Good Friday mass in the walled city of Famagusta.

According to the Cyprus News Agency, Gozkamas Ergunes, a member of the TMT organisation (Famagusta branch) denounced the planned service, the first one since 1957.

In a statement, Ergunes lamented the fact that the ‘mayor’ of Famagusta as well as the Turkish Cypriot mufti plan to attend. He also claimed that the Greek Orthodox service has caused “grief” among the residents of Famagusta.

The Good Friday service will take place on April 18, from 5pm to 8.30pm. The agreement to hold the mass was brokered by Famagusta mayor Alexis Galanos and the Turkish Cypriot leader of the town Oktay Kayalp, as part of confidence-building measures between the two communities.

The mass is to be held at the Saint George Eksorinos church, which was always known among Famagustans for the Good Friday service, drawing crowds from all over the island. Services stopped in 1957 following the unrest between the two communities and the church has since been abandoned.

Galanos and Kayalp are advocates of returning Varosha under the supervision and control of the UN. In a statement issued on December 2013, they asked for the Famagusta port to be opened to international maritime traffic under the supervision of the EU, and the Famagusta walled city to be placed under UNESCO watch list to be registered as a World Heritage Sites.

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