You’ve Let Birthplace Of Christianly Go To Ruin
Controversial cleric Archbishop Chrysostomos has blamed the Greek Cypriots for the failure to keep the birthplace of Christianity on the island well maintained.
He crossed the border to see firsthand the state of Apostolos Andreas Monastery, on the tip of the Karpaz peninsula, on Monday.
It was the first time a leader of the Greek Cypriot Orthodox Church had visited North Cyprus since July 20,1974
And Archbishop Chrysostomos, right, normally a bitter critic of Turkey and the TRNC , was diplomatic in the extreme, talking of his desire to meet TRNC Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu and also to meet with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan when he visits Ankara next month.
While he said the main purpose of his trip was to press forward with the scheme to renovate and restore the historic monastery, Archbishop Chrysostomos changed his tune from heaping all the blame on Turkey and TRNC.
He said that “certainquarters in the South” were also responsible for the delays that have brought the monastery to the verge of collapse.
While a current restoration scheme is ready to start within weeks, previous initiatives to save the building have fallen through.
“it was through our own fault that Apostolos Andreas has not been maintained to this day,” he said.” I used to tell them , `look, the monastery must be maintained because in the end it will cave in.` So my conscience is easy, as I have done my duty to the fullest. “God willing, very soon we shall see the start of restoration work, something that is in the interests both of Turkey, as being a democratic country, and of the Turkish Cypriots in that they will show they have great love for these monuments.”
He added that Cyprus was “ a small state that is on friendly terms with Turkey, the European Union and Middle East because our region desires peace and we must all work to this goal”.
Archbishop Chrysostomos had written a letter to Mr Erdogan calling for work to begin as soon as possible . Mr Erdogan replied, saying he would do what he could.
It is the refusal of stallholders to move that is holding up the start of restoration work, agreed by both Cypriot leaders.
President Mehmet Ali Talat has personally gone to speak to the stallholders on several occasions recently.
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