A flag along and a photo stolen by a Greek Cypriot teen last week from a school in the north were handed back to the principal by the Turkish Cypriot leader himself.
According to Turkish Cypriot media in the north, Mustafa Akinci handed back a stolen Turkish flag along with a photo of Rauf Denktash to the principal of Fazil Kucuk Primary School.
The principal at the school in Lysi/Akdogan had made calls for the return of the flag and photo, following an incident where a Greek Cypriot teenager stole the items during an organized pilgrimage in the north.
'Filling the minds of young people with animosity and hatred is a heavy burden for the youths but also for our island'
Earlier reports cited a leaked letter sent by the teen’s father to Akinci himself, apologizing for his son’s behaviour and vowing to return the stolen items.
Earlier this month, the 16-year-old boy along with over 2000 other Greek Cypriots visited the village where they were able to hold a church service for the first time in 45 years.
During the tour, the teen was captured on security camera at a nearby school pulling down a Turkish flag while moments earlier he had stolen a photograph of the late Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash from a classroom.
Akinci reportedly spoke of a “big mistake” and called for the incident to be viewed as learned lesson.
“Filling the minds of young people with animosity and hatred is a heavy burden for the youths but also for our island,” Akinci said.
The Turkish Cypriot leader also said he understood the need for boosting a culture of peace in the education system, adding that recognizing the mistake and offering an apology has been an important step.