Close to a 1,000 people from North Cyprus visited the Hala Sultan Tekke in Larnaca on Monday.
The pilgrimage was carried out within the framework of the Bayram holiday and 21 buses crossed over into the south carrying close to 1,000 people. Whilst visiting the tomb of Hala Sultan, prayers were read out and a religious ceremony was held in the Hala Sultan mosque by the Religious Affairs Department.
Head of the department Talip Atalay and Sweden’s Ambassador to Nicosia Klas Gierow, who is leading the Inter-Religion Dialogue, were also present at the visit.
Speaking at the visit Gierow thanked the religious leaders for their efforts and for organising the pilgrimage. “I think this occasion today and the meeting and the celebrations are saying that the dialogue is very important, the religious dialogue as we can see is important in contributing to bring peace on the island and the reunification of the island is part of the process,” he noted.
“So I am very happy and I would like to thank all people involved in this, the Archbishop and all persons who have been very helpful to make this possible and the Foreign Minister Kasoulides, who has given his permission, and your excellent work Dr Atalay, which has been very important to make this happen,” he added.
Religious Affairs Director Prof. Dr. Talip Atalay noted that this was the third pilgrimage they had organised and this was the result of the dialogue between the religious leaders.
Atalay said that they believed the two communities on the island could live with each other; forgetting the past pains and bringing forward the good memories was what would make peace sustainable he added.