Turkish-speaking Cypriot harassed a Greek Cypriot priest in the monastery of Apostolos Andreas


Turkish Cypriot man Mehmet Erol Muvali, on his personal Facebook account, caused angry reactions as he entered a church, blew out candles, and harassed Greek Cypriot priest Father Zacharias. The so-called "Interior Ministry" of the Turkish-occupation of northern Cyprus announced the incident had been reported to the police.

Muvali is seen saying that he was transporting tourists to the Monastery. Then he mentions, "as we always say..." and begins an Islamic inside the church. Upon seeing Father Zacharias, he approaches and repeats it to the priest.

The posting of the video by Muvali was followed by dozens of critical comments against him, others with abusive content, while many accused him of the disrespect he showed in an Orthodox Christian space and towards an Orthodox priest.

After many websites in the occupied territories had posted the video and referred to the negative comments it caused, the so-called "minister of the interior", Dursun Oğuz, made a written statement in which he wrote that the church of Apostolos Andreas is an essential religious site prayer "in our country" (pseudocracy) and notes thatthere is religious freedom and various places of worship in the occupied territories.

Turkey has turned many churches and monasteries in the occupied territories into barns for animals.

“Respect for religious beliefs and lifestyles is also fundamental and sensitive. From this point of view, discriminatory, provocative, disturbing situations and behaviours are unacceptable," Oğuz said, adding that he filed a complaint with the police through the "provincial administration" (SS: he means the occupied Trikomos, where Karpasia belongs) "to initiate the necessary legal actions regarding this behaviour aimed at disturbance of social peace in the context of respect for religions and cultures."

After the outcry, Muvali removed the video from his account and posted his statement where he wrote that there was no bad intention in the video he uploaded, no attack and no provocative behaviour. He didn't know, he added, that this video would cause so much backlash, and after realising that thousands of people had viewed the video within four hours and "the topic had been moved elsewhere," he took it down.

He does not consider, he continues, that what he did was provocative; he states that he respects every religion and race, and if "I committed an offence, I ask public opinion for forgiveness."

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