Cyprus Mail

TC leadership condemns Limassol mosque attack

köprülü hacı ibrahim ağa mosque

Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar and the north’s ‘foreign minister’ Tahsin Ertugruloglu both condemned the attack on the Koprulu Haci Ibrahim Aga Mosque in Limassol on Saturday.

Tatar described the attack as a “manifestation of hostile anger and sacred values of more than two million people”.

He added that such actions “cannot be explained by democracy and freedom of thought”.

“Tolerance between different cultures and religions is the cornerstone of world peace and harmony and is essential for the mutual respect and understanding of peoples of different faiths,” he said.

He added, “the main reason why many civilisations have survived throughout history is tolerance between religions and cultures. Efforts of different religions and cultures to understand and respect each other ensure the preservation of peace.

“For this reason, this heinous attack is also an attack on tolerance and the effort to protect the common values of humanity,” he said.

He also called on those who committed the attacks to be “brought to justice immediately”.

Elsewhere, Ertugruloglu pointed the finger at the authorities in the Republic, saying the attack “is a clear indication that the Greek Cypriot side was insufficiently prepared and did not take the necessary measures within the framework of its responsibilities to protect the freedom of worship and the sanctity of places of worship and to prevent islamophobia”.

He also pointed out that the attack is the second on the Koprulu Haci Ibrahim Aga Mosque in recent years, after it was graffitied with the phrase “immigrants, Islam not welcome” in June 2020.

“Such attacks not only damage the trust between the two peoples on the island, but also target Muslims all over the world, threaten the common values of humanity such as tolerance between religions, and reveal how far they are from the understanding of living side by side in peace,” he added.

He said he expects the matter “to be followed with the necessary seriousness and sensitivity to ensure that such unacceptable incidents do not recur”.

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