The renaming of Piale Pasha Street to Tasos Mitsopoulos Avenue in memory of the late defence minister, should not be subject to discussions and disagreements, Larnaca Mayor Andreas Louroudjiatis has said.
He said the ceremony would go ahead as planned on Sunday at 10.30am and would be attended by President Nicos Anastasiades who supported the move, the mayor said.
Interior Minister Socrates Hasikos had objected in writing, citing political reasons but conceded he had no legal authority over the matter. The Turkish Cypriot area of Larnaca has been called Piale Pasha for centuries.
Louroudjiatis said that in deference to Hasikos, the name change would now be restricted “to a smaller area from the Tapa Hana park as far as Artemidos Avenue”.
Last week AKEL district committees in Larnaca and Famagusta accused the mayor of taking the decision without consulting the city council.
The district committees said in a statement that although they understood the gesture of respect to Mitsopoulos’ memory, the municipal council had been kept out of the loop. They also said that any renaming of Turkish Cypriot places was a move that contradicted “the firm positions of the Republic of Cyprus”.
Local residents have started an online petition to keep the street name as it is. By Friday afternoon 84 people had signed.