Orthodox Bishop allowed to visit northern Cyprus in exchange for a Mufti’s visit to the south of the island

28/10/13

A Bishop of the Church of Cyprus has been allowed to venerate Relics and Shrines in that part of his Diocese which is situated in the area of the island, occupied by Turks. In 1974 Turkey encroached upon the territory of Cyprus and occupied 40 percent of the island.

On October 16, Bishop Christopher of Karpasia, who for over 18 months had been refused permission to visit the northern part of Cyprus by the Turkish authorities, managed to visit St. Andrew’s Monastery in the Karpass Peninsula in north-eastern Cyprus.

Two days later, on October 18, the Grand Mufti of Cyprus, Talip Atalay, crossed the “Green Line”, dividing the island, and visited the Hala Sultan Mosque near Larnaca for the first time.

Mutual visits of an Orthodox Hierarch and a Turkish Muslim Mufti became possible owing to an agreement, reached at the initiative of Archbishop Chrysostomos II of Cyprus, who had personally petitioned the government of the republic of Cyprus for Mufti Atalay, reports the website of the “United Nations human rights” organization.

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