BICOMMUNAL FAMAGUSTA INITIATIVE
PRESS RELEASE CONCERNING AYIOS GEORGIOS EXORINOS
The Bicommunal Famagusta Initiative (B.F.I.) refers to the Mass held on Sunday 8th December 2013 at Ayios Georgios Exorinos Church in the Walled City of Famagusta for the first time after 1956.
The event was very successful as more than 1000 Greek Cypriots attended the Mass including the Greek Cypriot Mayor of Famagusta and members of the Municipal Council. Present were also Turkish Cypriot members of the B.F.I. and the Turkish Cypriot Mayor of Famagusta.
News reports transmitted by only one Greek Cypriot TV channel, that Turkish Cypriot policemen were interfering with the Mass, are entirely untrue. The handful of Turkish Cypriot police who were on duty in the street outside, facilitated with traffic and parking arrangements for eleven buses and hundreds of private vehicles in the cramped streets of the Walled City.
B.F.I. wishes to thank the following for their efforts and hard work to make this event possible. 1. The members of E.M.U faculty led by Ǚmit Inatçi who spearheaded the restoration of the church. 2. The Turkish Cypriots of Famagusta who worked hard for years to restore and clean the church. 3. The group “Ammoxostos – our City” led by Pavlos Iacovou for volunteering to organize transportation and other aspects of the event. 4. Members of the Turkish Cypriot ‘Famagusta Initiative’ and the T/C Mayor of Famagusta who welcomed the Greek Cypriots into the Walled City to perform the Mass.
Finally the B.F.I. notes that the Turkish Cypriot citizens of Famagusta have invited the Greek Cypriots to continue using the church of Ayios Georgios Exorinos. B.F.I. salutes the citizens of Famagusta for this step for peace and reconciliation and pledges to continue to strive for the opening of Famagusta to all its inhabitants.
Okan Dağlı 10 December 2013