Firebrand Irish singer and activist Bob Geldof denounced nationalism, Turkish President Reccep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin during a concert with his band The Boomtown Rats in Famagusta, addressing criticism of his decision to perform in the north Cyprus.
“We’re from Ireland. We don’t like nationalism – it kills people!”, Geldof said after reminding the crowd that Ireland is also a divided island, cyprusscene website reported on Sunday.
He also asked the crowd, “How long does it take to get from Larnaca to Famagusta? 40 years!” according to the website.
Geldof, who became widely known when he formed the charity Band Aid in 1984 to raise money for famine relief, had come under fire on Twitter from Greek Cypriot lobby groups urging him to reconsider his decision to play at the Eastern Mediterranean University (EMU) Rock’n EMU concert.
But the concert took place as planned and several thousand students attended. Geldof, who had his first hit in 1977 and is now 65, slammed surveillance society culture and urged people to unite and ignore politicians, imams and priests.
In 2010, both Jennifer Lopez and Julio Iglesias cancelled gigs in the north after intense Greek Cypriot opposition.