A graffiti incident at a mosque in Limassol has drawn wide condemnation on Thursday, a holiday with bicentennial celebrations on the island marking the Greek revolt against the Ottoman Empire.
Local media reported that a mosque in Episkopi, Limassol district, was vandalized with graffiti on Thursday, with local official Lefkios Prodromou saying masked individuals carry out these attack under the cover of darkness, with the latest being the third such incident in recent times.
“It is sad to see such acts carried out by stupid fools who only manage to embarrass Cyprus abroad,” Prodromou said.
Slogans written with blue paint on exterior walls and steps of the mosque included “Hellas” (Greece), “Turks, you will die,” Christianity symbols, and references to 1821 as well as 2021 bicentennial celebrations marking the start of the Greek war of Independence.
The news broke on Twitter after Limassol-born Eleni Theocharous, a former MEP and current president of Solidarity Movement, posted two photos of the incident and mocked the perpetrators.
Koushos said the evil deeds were an affront to religious places of worship and the meaning of patriotism, adding that the government would 'not tolerate such delinquent behaviors'
“Those who did this are not patriots, they are uncircumcised Turks just as Korais used to say,” Theocharous wrote.
Members of Theocharous’ party had also been in the news recently after a subgroup of her party took an initiative to restore a part of a fence in the buffer zone, after it was removed by another pro-migrant group.
Government spokesperson Kyriacos Koushos also “strongly condemned" Thursday’s incident on behalf of the administration.
“Evil acts such as these do not contribute in any way towards the proper climate we seek in our effort to reach a settlement of the Cyprus Problem and reunify our homeland,” the statement said.
Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar said the “Greek Cypriot mentality was once again demonstrated by this incident,” while also making references to an earlier period between 1963 and 1974, saying “hundreds of our mosques were attacked and destroyed.”
Koushos said the evil deeds were an “affront” to the meaning of patriotism and religious places of worship, adding that the government would “not tolerate such delinquent behaviors.”
The Cyprus News Agency said police received an official complaint about the incident on Thursday, with investigators reportedly seeking camera footage as well as any possible witnesses.