Turkey joined the condemnation of an arson attack on a historic mosque in Greek-administered Cyprus on Tuesday.
In a statement, the Foreign Ministry said the arson attack on Deneia Mosque should not be allowed to disrupt negotiations on reunifying the island.
“The current positive atmosphere should not be allowed to be affected by these type of attacks, [which come] at a time when the final stage of an extended solution in Cyprus is being reached,” the ministry said.
Earlier, Turkish Cypriot President Mustafa Akinci and his Greek Cypriot counterpart Nicos Anastasiades issued separate statements condemning Sunday’s attack. “It is obvious that the ones who conducted this attack do not want Cyprus to reach a peaceful and serene future,” Akinci said.
The In-Cyprus news website reported that authorities believe the attackers lifted roof tiles and poured flammable liquid inside before setting the fire. The mosque has been the subject of previous attacks.
The eastern Mediterranean island was divided into Turkish and Greek Cypriot territories after Turkey’s 1974 intervention following a military coup in Greece. Recent talks have raised hopes of a reunified island governed by a federal system, a goal Akinci has said is likely to be achieved by the end of the year.