Arson attack on mosque in Greek Cyprus condemned
Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar has condemned the recent arson attempt on a mosque located in the southern part of the divided island of Cyprus.
In a statement, Tatar condemned the attempt to burn the Grand Mosque in Larnaca and called on the Greek Cypriot authorities to prevent such attacks and arrest those responsible at the earliest.
“It cannot be a coincidence that the attacks on mosques increase while the Greek Cypriot administration’s intense armament and provocations aimed at escalating the tension in the eastern Mediterranean continue,” he noted.
Located at the beginning of Larnaca’s old Turkish quarter, the Grand Mosque was about to be set on fire on Dec. 2.
According to Greek Cypriot media, no casualty was reported, while police detained at least one suspect.
Meanwhile, Ankara also condemned the arson attack.
“As a recent instance of Islamophobia, this attack and similar actions do not only target Muslims but also threaten the common values of humanity and reveal how certain circles are far from the understanding of peaceful co-existence,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
Mosques on the southern part of the divided island are often targeted in attacks, including vandalism, Molotov cocktail attacks and more.
In March 2021, a group of far-right Greek Cypriot activists attacked and defaced a mosque in Limassol, drawing a cross and writing ‘death to all Turks’ on its walls.
Another mosque in Denya was also set on fire both in 2013 and 2016.