Press Release 7.7.16

The 6th Special Pilgrimage to Hala Sultan Tekke on the Occasion of Eid Al Fitr – Ramazan Bayram

On July 7 2016, Mufti of Cyprus, Dr Talip Atalay led prayers at Hala Sultan Tekke for 1000 pilgrims of Turkish origin who reside in the northern part of Cyprus. This special pilgrimage was organized within the framework of the Religious Track of the Cyprus Peace Process, under the Auspices of the Embassy of Sweden, and facilitated by UNFICYP on the occasion of Eid Al Fitr or Ramazan Bayram.

The Mufti received greetings for the Bayram from ambassadors and country representatives, the head of the Church of Cyprus H.B Archbishop Chrysostomos II through his representative, Archimandrite Rev Ioannis Ioannou of Apostolos Barnabas Monastery and representatives of the Armenian, Maronite and Latin religious leaders of Cyprus.

“The essence of Islam highlighted during the holy month of Ramadan with fasting and prayer is to train our egos to reach inner peace. While we celebrate the feast of Al-Fitr we are also grieving for the recent loss of innocent lives to terror attacks abusing the name of Islam. Taking the life of an innocent human being is the same as taking the life of all creation. As a Muslim, I call on everyone in the world with goodness in his heart, to come and stand together against evil in the world. We may have differences but we have to be able to live together. We believe humankind will find peace and learn again to live together and coexist when they learn to train their egos, which is a fundamental teaching of Islam. It is our obligation and duty to be a positive example in our island and the region as a whole. As religious leaders we should give a message of peace and coexistence, not that of politics, living together as one family like brothers, sisters and as neighbours in peace,” said Mufti Dr. Talip Atalay.

“We are witnessing something Cyprus has never experienced in over five decades thanks to the efforts of the religious leaders and the Office of RTCYPP under the Auspices of the Embassy of Sweden”, said Ambassador of Sweden Klas Gierow. “Religious leaders advocating for the others right to worship, to have free access to their places of worship and celebrate each others feast together. Todays’ sprit is what needs to be nurtured and spread out in Cyprus. Open churches, open mosques with free access for prayer for those who believe and want to pray”.

This is the 6th special pilgrimage to Hala Sultan Tekke in Larnaca since 2014. As a result of an unprecedented agreement between the religious leaders of Cyprus, namely H.B. Archbishop Chrysostomos II of the Church of Cyprus and the Mufti of Cyprus H.E Dr. Talip Atalay with special permission from the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Cyprus. The agreement, also supported by the political leaders of Cyprus, was reached in 2014 within the framework of the Religious Track of the Cyprus Peace Process under the Auspices of the Embassy of Sweden (RTCYPP).

Posted in Press Releases.