Exiled Kyrenia Mayor Protests Lack of Religious Freedom in N. Cyprus
Exiled Kyrenia Mayor Glafkos Cariolou has sent a letter to the EU protesting the lack of religious freedom in Turkish-held north Cyprus after the Bishop of Karpasia was stopped at a checkpoint and prevented from performing Orthodox Easter religious rites in Rizokarpaso.
"We kindly request the immediate intervention of the European Union Presidency in a rigorous and effective manner towards the Turkish ministry of Foreign affairs and the Turkish Prime Minister in order to secure a free and uninterrupted access to the occupied areas of the Bishop of Karpasia and other religious leaders," said Cariolou in his letter.
The Bishop was prevented from going to Rizokarpaso at 7am this morning during the most holy days in the Orthodox calendar. The letter makes the point that Cyprus is an EU member state, in which freedom of religion and freedom of movement are core principles.
Cyprus has been occupied by Turkish troops since 1974, which enforce a communal split that decades of negotiations have not yet healed.
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