Bi-communal Peace Initiative – United Cyprus declaration on Arson attack at Denia mosque

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We will defend what we achieved! We will defend Peace!

We, Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot citizens’ organisations, trade unions, cultural, professional and political associations join our voices to denounce the criminal attack against the historical mosque in Denia village.
We call upon the authorities to take all necessary actions to bring those responsible to justice and make sure that they receive appropriate punishment. Such acts are not only acts against a religious monument. They are acts against the people of Cyprus and its common peaceful future, because they are undermining the current intercommunal talks by “poisoning” the climate in both communities.
The very fact that this was the third attack against the Denia mosque in the last years, proves that such acts are well orchestrated and should not be allowed to be repeated.
In the past, our country suffered from such acts of provocation by extreme elements in both communities whose aim was to incite hatred and enmity. Placing of bombs or setting of fires to houses, mosques, statues or newspapers has been used to stir conflict among the two communities. As a result, innocent people became victims of killings or massacres while many more were forced to leave the country. Even worse, such acts of violence and hatred on both sides traumatised relations between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots and their obvious aim was of course to keep the two communities apart for ever, “proving” that they cannot tolerate each other.
The same forces on both communities are again at work to undermine the current negotiation process and the initiatives for reconciliation. The students that attacked Turkish Cypriots on the 16th November, 2015 were guided by the same racist and fascist mentality. Historically the extremists on both sides that benefit from the status quo show remarkable solidarity: Hence the vandalisms against churches in the north over the recent years. Every time such acts of violence take place on one side, these are exploited by the nationalists on the other side to prove that the two communities cannot live together.
Our response as a bi-communal movement is that we should work together to face up to these provocations and pave the way for reunification and peaceful coexistence.
We would like to stress that as Cypriots who experienced the perils and losses of war and migration, are not prepared to allow such extreme nationalist or fascist groups or individuals to destroy, once again, our renewed hopes for reunifying our homeland. On the contrary, we will intensify our joint efforts through various bi-communal activities and initiatives to promote the values of peace, friendship, respect and understanding in a reunited Cyprus.
We call upon people from both sides of the divide, to join us!

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