Monday February 2, 2015 Search
Weather | Athens
16o C
13o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Ground-breaking Good Friday mass signals thaw in Cyprus

A church and a mosque are seen in a village near Famagusta, north Cyprus, February 3.

By Michele Kambas

For the first time in more than half a century, a church in northern Cyprus will host Good Friday mass in a sign of a thaw in relations between Greek and Turkish Cypriots.

Off limits to Greek Cypriots for 58 years, the Church of St. George Exorinos in the medieval city of Famagusta will host a liturgy on what is one of the most important religious dates in the Greek Orthodox calendar.

Alexis Galanos, the Greek Cypriot mayor-in-exile of the sprawling coastal city now on the Turkish Cypriot side of the divided island, hopes it can be a precursor to lasting peace.

Galanos joined with Turkish Cypriot counterpart Oktay Kayalp to organize the event that is expected to draw about 4,000 people.

"It gives a message of reconciliation and cooperation of Greek and Turkish Cypriots throughout Cyprus, and particularly for a reunified Famagusta," said Galanos.

An ancient port city which inspired Shakespeare's tragedy "Othello," Famagusta was once the Mediterranean island's premier coastal resort.

Liturgies at St. George Exorinos stopped before Cyprus gained independence from Britain in 1960, after clashes between Greek and Turkish Cypriots broke out.

Compounding the isolation, major incidents erupted in late 1963 when the Turkish Cypriots pulled out of a power-sharing government, and many Turkish Cypriots withdrew into enclaves prompting the deployment of UN peacekeepers, who remain today.

Some 45,000 Greek Cypriot Famagusta residents then fled advancing Turkish troops in 1974, when Turkey invaded in response to a brief coup by Greek Cypriot hardliners seeking to unite the island with Greece.

Leaders of the two sides have resumed peace negotiations, after many rounds of so far fruitless talks.

Many Greek Orthodox churches in the north were abandoned, some were turned into mosques, many are simply not used. St. George Exorinos has opened for Greek Orthodox morning mass on two occasions since last December. [Reuters]

ekathimerini.com , Thursday April 17, 2014 (09:57)  
Deputy PM Dragasakis confident ECB will not cut liquidity for Greek banks
Varoufakis counting on ECB as Sapin says Greece needs new contract with eurozone
Obama says Greece needs growth, not more austerity
A week in and Greece´s new leftist PM sticks to tough line, for now
Piraeus port U-turn will not hurt China investment: analysts
The shipping containers emblazoned with the COSCO logo on the quayside at Greece's biggest port Piraeus are a sign that China has invested heavily here. Even though Greece's new left-wing go...
ANALYSIS
Cash may dry up earlier than thought
The negotiations between the new government and the country’s international lenders got off to a rough start, as evidenced by the joint press conference between Finance Minister Yanis Varouf...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Reds stretch lead as Panetolikos upsets PAOK
Panetolikos’s surprise win at Toumba over PAOK on Saturday allowed Olympiakos to open its lead at the top of the Super League table to five points, one week before the Reds’ visit to Thessal...
TRACK & FIELD
Three Greek athletes earn tickets to Prague
Greek track and field enjoyed an exceptionally good weekend of performances by local athletes at various indoor meetings, with three of them earning a ticket to the European Indoor Champions...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
The dogma and the command center
We have reached a critical juncture. We have a new, inexperienced government trying to see if “the great negotiations” discussed by everyone, be they from the left or the right, on TV over t...
EDITORIAL
Silence will not be forgiven
It’s time for a turn toward realism, caution and logic. The negotiations with our partners and lenders must be concluded swiftly before the remaining healthy parts of the country’s productiv...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Deputy PM Dragasakis confident ECB will not cut liquidity for Greek banks
2. Reds stretch lead as Panetolikos upsets PAOK
3. Three Greek athletes earn tickets to Prague
4. Varoufakis counting on ECB as Sapin says Greece needs new contract with eurozone
5. Piraeus port U-turn will not hurt China investment: analysts
6. Cash may dry up earlier than thought
more news
Today
This Week
1. Dijsselbloem says Greece has to decide how to move ahead
2. Greece shakes Europe's political kaleidoscope: expect the unexpected
3. France open to easing Greek debt burden, says finance minister
4. The dogma and the command center
5. Greece offers olive branch to seek allies
6. Poll shows most Germans want Greece to stay in eurozone
Today
This Week
1. Greek Elections 2015 | LIVE
2. SYRIZA heads for historic victory but without majority
3. EU must accept that Greek debt relief is inevitable
4. SYRIZA's win will test institutions
5. Greek Elections 2015: The day after | LIVE
6. Athens may veto further EU sanctions against Russia
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2015, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.