The director general of the EVKAF, Ibrahim Bender, has raised concerns over the increasing number of attacks targeting mosques in the free areas. Speaking about the recent incident involving the Ibrahim Aga Köprülü Mosque in Limassol, which was targeted with Molotov cocktails and defaced with anti-Islamic slogans, Bender emphasized the gravity of the situation.
Bender expressed that the frequency of these attacks has escalated in recent years, posing a significant danger. He highlighted the severity of the recent incident, noting that the attacker used a caustic substance in an attempt to set fire to the mosque. Fortunately, the mosque was unoccupied at the time of the attack, preventing a potential tragedy. Bender urged authorities to take effective measures against such attacks on mosques and Turkish-Islamic monuments in the free areas.
Drawing attention to the stark contrast, Bender mentioned that despite numerous churches in the occupied territories, no such attacks on churches have occurred in the 452 years since the Ottoman conquest of Cyprus. He emphasized the need for protection and respect for religious sites regardless of their affiliation.
Bender's comments came in response to the attack on the historic Ibrahim Aga Köprülü Mosque in Limassol. The "Ministry of Foreign Affairs" in the occupied territories released a statement condemning the incident and calling for an immediate investigation. The mosque, which also faced an attack in June 2020, holds significant historical and cultural value, according to the statement.
"Officials" on the occupied side criticized the lack of sufficient measures taken by the Republic to protect the mosque and prevent Islamophobia. They emphasized that these attacks not only strain the trust between different communities on the island but also target Muslims globally, undermining inter-religious tolerance and shared human values.
They also called for the identification and swift prosecution of those responsible for the incident, stressing the importance of justice. Additionally, the organization engaged with the UN peacekeeping force in Limassol to address the concerning development.