Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar attended Eid prayers at the Hafiz Ebubekir mosque in northern Nicosia on Wednesday morning.

“I wish for patience to my brothers and sisters who are suffering greatly in Gaza in Palestine,” Tatar said speaking after the end of prayers, while also hoping for mercy to those who lost their lives in the violence.

He added that he hopes the violence in Gaza “will stop as soon as possible”.

“The Turkish Cypriots experienced massacres and suffering similar to those in Gaza during the 1960s, and we now understand how important peace, tranquillity and security are to us on this holy day.”

He also expressed his condolences to the families of the Cypriots who lost their lives when the Isias hotel in the Turkish city of Adiyaman collapsed during last year’s earthquakes.

Additionally, he advised people using the roads to visit family during the holiday to be careful and avoid accidents.

He closed his statements outside the mosque by saying “hatred and resentment should be left behind and we should act in the spirit of unity, togetherness and solidarity. Culture, customs and traditions must be experience in the best possible way.”

Later in the morning, he visited the graves of both of his parents in northern Nicosia’s cemetery, as is customary on Eid days.