Restored Dali mosque handed over
Nicosia, Sep 8 ? Newly appointed Minister of Interior Neoklis Silikiotis and former Minister of Interior Andreas Christou handed over to the Municipal authority of Idalion (Dali) south of the capital Nicosia, the restored mosque of Ziyia Pasha.
Restoration began in 2001 under an initiative of the Dali Municipal Authority and was completed in June this year. It?s financing was undertaken by the Department for Administration of Turkish Cypriot Properties and the Interior Ministry.
Speaking at the ceremony for the reopening of the Turkish Cypriot Mosque at Dali, Mr. Silikiotis said the Ministry of Interior for the last three years has made many efforts to restore the Turkish schools, cemeteries and mosques and that 860.000 CY pounds (one Cyprus pound equals to around two US dollars) were spent for this purpose.
He also said the government deems the religious monuments of each community as part of the joint heritage of the people of Cyprus.
Mr. Silikiotis described the restoration of the mosque, as an important event which coincided with him undertakiunt the ministry of Interior and said that former Minister of Interior Andreas Christou was ''the soul of this effort''.
Replying, Mr. Christou said when a religious or cultural monument is restored, it brings out the coexistence of the two communities.
Present at the ceremony was Sheih Nazim Kibrisi with a number of his pupils, who expressed his gratitude for the restoration of the mosque.
According to records the mosque was built in 1837 and took its name Ziyia Pasha Mosque after restoration in the Islamic year of 1279 (1862/63), in the name of Sultan Abdulazziz, by poet Ziyia Pasha, who served as administrator of Cyprus when Ali Pasha was Grand Vizier.
A school was also built next to the mosque and dedicated to Sultan Abdulazziz.
Ziyia Pasha also established a fund for the maintenance of the mosque and the school.
The minaret was designed and constructed by building master Toulis Karakannas, who was an Evkaf employee, and the structure was repaired in 1891 and again in 1930.