News Local Erdogan to inaugurate giant mosque in occupied north Cyprus

Erdogan to inaugurate giant mosque in occupied north Cyprus

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is due in Turkish occupied north Cyprus on Tuesday where he will attend the opening ceremony of a giant mosque in Mia Mila.

Built in classic Ottoman style, the 3,000-capacity mosque with its four minarets has fuelled concern among some Turkish Cypriots that their secular society is under increasing dominance from Ankara.

“This mosque symbolises the Islamist mentality, the Sunni Islam mentality and also an imperialist mentality,” Sener Elcil, head of the Turkish Cypriot Teachers Union, told AFP.

“The Turkish Cypriot community is secular. We are not a fundamentalist Islamist community.”

Added Izzet Iscan, founder of the United Cyprus party:  “Erdogan’s policy is to transform the Turkish Cypriot identity,” Izzet Izcan told AFP.

“Our identity is based on Cyprus. We have a lot of common identity with Greek Cypriots, and Armenians and Maronites, all of which have a presence on the island,” he added.

“What Erdogan is trying to do is to annex the north, to build another identity… They are trying to make us good Muslims for their way of life, and pure Turks as they wish to see us.”

Last week members of Elcil’s teachers union demonstrated against the mosque under the slogan “put schools and hospitals first.”

“What our country needs is science, education and health, (but) priority is being given to investments in religion,” demonstrators said in a statement.

The Hala Sultan mosque is the centerpiece of a string of Turkish-funded projects in the same area, including an Islamic high school.

Hala Sultan is a sized-down copy of the Selimiye mosque in Edirne, Turkey, built during the Ottoman empire reputedly with tax revenues collected in Cyprus.

Top Stories

Access to Troodos controlled by Police

The Police announced that on the basis of the Health Ministry decrees aiming to contain the outbreak of the pandemic, tomorrow Sunday, access to...

129 new cases, four deaths announced on Saturday

The Health Ministry announced the death of four persons due to COVID-19. This raises the death toll from the virus in Cyprus to 183,...

Crowding at Troodos; lots of fines by police

Lots of traffic was today seen at Troodos. In order to maintain order but also to monitor that people respected the measures aiming to...

Where to get antigen rapid tests on Sunday 24 January

The Health Ministry announced the following antigen rapid test sites for Sunday, 24 January 2021:   LIMASSOL Parking place Lidl supermarket, Limassol 08:30-16:30 Glafkos Clerides Park, Germasoyia 08:30-16:30 Municipal...

Larry King dies at 87

Larry King dies at 87. Photo taken at his concert at Hard Rock Live in Hollywood, Florida on January 25, 2012. (Reuters)


Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...


No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...