Karpasia – Shutting down of the local Churches

The [Turkish military] occupation authorities have enforced an absolute prohibition of any vespers (evening prayers) taking place in any Church in [Turkish-occupied] Rizokarpason, according to an announcement given by the Coordinative Committee of Karpasia [a local Cyprus NGO].

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»The new restrictions regarding the religious freedoms of the enclaved [Cypriot] Greeks come as an extra burden to the already aggravated climate of terrorism and despair that has been created with the violent disruption of the Christmas Liturgy at the Cathedral of Saint Synesios in Rizokarpason,» the announcement adds.

In order for the vespers to be allowed to be celebrated, »the Turks demand that ‘permission’ must be obtained from the so-called ‘Ministry of Foreign Affairs,’ of the pseudostate, a time-consuming and humiliating procedure,» quoted the announcement.

In addition, the announcement reports that »all interested enclaved persons must present themselves to the ‘provincial governor’ of Trikomon in order to submit their request».

In another announcement made by the Coordinative Committee of Karpasia, it is mentioned that »the Turks have proceeded in a census of the remaining [Cypriot] Greeks of the martyrical area of Karpasia, making it clear that they wish to inflect data concerning the owning of landed property, which they seek to illegally transfer to new families of settlers».

»Moreover, a coincidental and parallel effort is being made to intimidate the citizens of Rizokarpason to accept the change of their last names, so as to make the ‘dispute’ of the property titles they possess easier.»

Finally, the announcement adds that the Turkish «census officials» attempt to usrupt the signatures of the land owners with their last names being changed. It is also mentioned that »their encouragement for the enclaved to give their consensus for the ‘simplification’ of their names with the erasure of their Greek, historical surnames is especially persistent».

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