Saturday, 26 March 2011
Turks charge entrance fee to visit Monastery of Apostolos Andreas
Above is a report (with English subtitles) from yesterday’s RIK evening news on the imposition by the occupation regime of an entrance fee for those wishing to visit Cyprus’ foremost religious shrine, the Monastery of Apostolos Andreas, located at the tip of the Karpasia pensinular, which has been occupied by Turkey since 1974.
The Turks are saying the money raised from the one euro ticket will be put towards protecting Karpasia’s wild donkeys. Of course, the move is spiteful, intended to humiliate believers and, indeed, discourage them from visiting the shrine, which the Turks are deliberately allowing to crumble.
For those who don’t know, there are a couple of hundred Greeks who still live in the occupied areas – in the Karpasia villages of Agia Triada and Rizokarpaso. Also, since 2003, when the Turks made it easier for Greeks to cross over into the occupied areas, some do so in order to visit homes, churches and so on. Since the pilgrimage to Apostolos Andreas was always the most popular of its type for Cypriots before 1974, many believers have tried to revive the tradition, a fact that is obviously not to the liking of the occupation regime since it is a reminder to them of the Greekness of Cyprus, all of Cyprus.