17th March 2011
New Testament and prayer books which were destinated for the children of the junior and high school of the occupied village of Rizokarpaso in Cyprus were confiscated by the Turkish military authorities.
Archimandrite f. Gregorios Ioannidis, Mr. Michalakis Loizidis (Theologian- Surveyor) and Mr. Georgios Ilia (Professor), attempt to transfer on the 17th of March 2011 as gifts to the enclaved pupils of Rizokarpaso the above mentioned. Along with the religious books, they took with them icons of Jesus Christ, Virgin Mary, Apostle Varnavas and Saint Spyridon, simple censers and incense. The Turkish military authorities during a control to the barricade of Pergamo traced the books and denied their transfer claiming that there was no special permission. They also promised that after they would return back to the non occupied area all confiscated items would be handed back to them. This unfortunately never happened because the occupation forces claimed that they would hand them to the director of the school an action which was also never done.
The Turkish Cypriot newspapers, particularly the newspapers Kibris, Volkan and Afrika on Friday the 18th of March 2011 mentioned the new provocation of religious freedom by the Turkish authorities. To its front-page Afrika refers: Islamic fanaticism, Interdiction of Jesus, by those who claim that there is freedom to express your religious believes, prohibit books with religious context.