Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan quickly enough sent a warning that culprits behind a recent fire at a Larnaca mosque in divided Cyprus would be punished.
But both police and the head of the bi-communal committee on cultural heritage protection clarified that no racial or nationalistic motives were behind Wednesday evening’s fire at the Buyuk Cami.
In fact, police arrested a homeless 27-year-old Syrian man in connection with the incident during which some damage to the door was caused.
Committee head Sotos Ktoris also said it was an unfortunate incident in which “a homeless Syrian migrant attempted to set fire to the mosque after the hodja refused to let him sleep there at night.”
And he added: “We ought to set things in their correct dimension to avoid an unnecessary and damaging fight relating to the two sides’ religious monuments. As Cypriots we respect all religious monuments and places of worship.”
The incident had also been condemned by Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar who rushed to accuse Greek Cypriots of vandalising mosques.
Even though Turkey is the one which invaded Cyprus in 1974 and still maintains troops in the breakaway north where systematic destruction of Greek Cypriot cultural heritage is reported.