President Anastasiades condemns attacks on Turkish Cypriots during UDI protest

Pupils protesting the unilateral declaration of the Turkish Cypriot breakaway state attacked Turkish Cypriots in their car in Nicosia, reports said on Monday.

Reports said the attack was carried out by members of the far right and at least one Turkish Cypriot had been injured. Police could not immediately be reached for comment.

Hundreds of secondary school children took part in anti-UDI demonstrations in Nicosia with protests taking place near the checkpoint at the bottom of Ledra Street, and at Ayios Kassianos near the Famagusta Gate.

The incident was immediately condemned by President Nicos Anastasiades who described the perpetrators as foolish people who did a disservice to efforts to resolve the Cyprus problem.

“The only thing such unacceptable behaviours consolidate is the distrust between the two communities over the possibility of peaceful coexistence,” the president said in a statement.

He said the state would not tolerate such behaviour from isolated or minority groups who “invoke pseudo patriotism with the aim of dividing our country once and for all”.

Anastasiades apologised to the Turkish Cypriots, saying that the incident did not reflect the great majority of Greek Cypriots.

“I express my deepest regrets to our Turkish Cypriot compatriots over today’s unacceptable incident, which does not reflect the feelings of the overwhelming majority of Greek Cypriots for peaceful coexistence and hopeful prospects for the future.”

Although the anniversary of UDI in the north is November 15, which this year fell on a Sunday, the demonstrations were postponed until Monday, a school day.