Turkey Denounces Arson Attack on Cypriot Mosque

Αssociated Press

Sun is setting behind the silhouetted houses, of the Lakatamia neighbourhood of the capital Nicosia, Cyprus, Wednesday, May 27, 2020. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

Turkish officials expressed outrage over an attempt to burn down a mosque on the side of Cyprus of the legitimate government and called on government officials to offer protection.

"We condemn the heinous attack on Koprulu Haci Ibrahim Aga Mosque in Greek Cyprus, Limassol province," said Turkey's Foreign Ministry in a statement, reported the state-run Anadolu news agency.

"The Greek-Cypriot administration should take the necessary steps in line with freedom of prayer and holiness of prayer sites, and they should catch the perpetrators,” the statement added.

“It is plain as day that anti-Muslim rhetoric and actions will not benefit efforts to solve the Cyprus issue,” the ministry said, adding that the attacks were aimed at Muslims but affected all society.

Fuat Oktay, Turkey's Vice-President tweeted: “"I condemn the attack on the historic Koprulu Mosque in Limassol province, Greek Cyprus. I invite Greek Cypriot authorities to take sincere action in face of these attacks, and catch the perpetrators as soon as possible. Turkey will always stand against violence.”

On May 31, at least three petrol bombs were hurled at Koprulu Haci Ibrahim Aga Mosque, and anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim sentiments were spray-painted on its walls, said officials on the northern side of the island occupied by Turkey since an unlawful 1974 invasion.