World Bulletin / News Desk
A mosque in the Greek side of Cyprus opened its doors to Muslims on Tuesday after having remained closed for the last 51 years.
Following the inauguration ceremony, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus' religious affairs head Talip Atalay led the first prayer since 1963 in Tahtakale Mosque that is situated in the southern part of Lefkosa (Nicosia), controlled by the Greek Cypriot administration.
In his remarks at the ceremony, Atalay decribed Tahtakale region as one of the first areas Turkish Cypriots had to leave amid the inter-communal clashes in December 1963, just three years after a republic was declared comprising the whole island.
"It is so valuable to be present here as a sign of the hope that the pains will be healed one day and all will change for the better," he said.
The Turkish Cypriot official said that a permanent peace on the island would serve as a good example for the whole region.
"The two peoples, who lived for centuries in peace, must find the ways to have a future together," he added.
The re-opening ceremony was also attended by Father Savvas -- aide of Greek Orthodox Church Archbishop Hrisostomos, along with Klas Gierow, Swedish ambassador to the Greek Cypriot administration.
Father Savvas said the religious sites could now be utilized freely thanks to the revived relations on the island.
"The aim of the dialogue is to sustain freedom of religion. This dialogue paved the way for visits to religious artifacts and places," he further said.
He said that they were working in cooperation with the religious authorities of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus thanks to the restarted dialogue, expressing gratitude to the Turkish Cypriot government for opening certain Orthodox churches to the use of charities.
Ambassador Gierow dubbed the re-opening of the mosque and the first prayer after 51 years as a "historic event."
The island of Cyprus has remained divided into Greek and Turkish parts since a Greek Cypriot coup was followed by a Turkish peace mission to aid Turkish Cypriots in the north in 1974. Turkish and Greek Cypriot leaders have been engaged in a peace process since February to reunify the island.
'Hello, I am a Muslim' event aims to dispel myths, propaganda against Islam
Event aims to promote empathy launched in London’s central King’s Cross Station
Bzeek, who has been helping terminally-ill children for decades, says his actions change the negative perception of Muslims
Over 100 Muslim leaders felt a “measure of hope” after last evening’s four-hour meeting with Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley on issues directly affecting them, including the labelling them as terrorists.
As-Salam Mosque -- Chile's first -- renovated at direction of Turkish president during visit to country in 2016
Hadji Mohammad Dollie was a son of Scottish father and a Malay mother born in Cape Town, South Africa in 1846. He opened the first “Hanafi” Mosque in Cape Town along with a Dutch convert to Islam in the 1880’s.
Finsbury Park Mosque, which suffered terror attack last year, continues feeding homeless in London
I went to the local shop to buy some naans. After placing my order, I was just waiting on the side when I noticed that the guy in the shop was just staring at the door and had no smile on his face. It seemed like he was annoyed that no one was coming to buy anything. I noticed he kept looking at the clock then at the door, becoming more miserable each time.
Palestinian mosque officials accuse Israel of waging aggressive campaign against Islam's third holiest site
Suliman Abdul-Mutakallim was shot in the head as he was going home and was robbed of just $60.
BISHWA Ijtema is the second largest congregation of the Muslim community after the Hajj in Mecca. The annual gathering draws in Muslims from 150 countries.
Here are 12 fascinating photos of Jerusalem in the 1930s when Muslims, Christian and Jews lived peacefully side-by-side.
Hundreds of her supporters gathered around her to celebrate in Makhachkala, Dagestan's capital, on Saturday, two days after she confirmed her bid in a Facebook post.
Aarhus University's research shows number of mosques in Scandinavian country jumps from 115 in 2006 to 170 in 2017
'We are ready to furnish and maintain our own facility if we are given space,' social activist says