The 16-year-old who was caught on a security camera entering the grounds of Dr Fazil Kucuk primary school during a ceremony being held at the church in the village of Akdoğan (Lysi), when he stole the flag and photograph.
The boy’s father sent a letter of apology to President Mustafa Akinci and returned to two stolen items.
After receiving the letter, Akinci stated that “a big mistake was made” and that “the necessary lessons and conclusions should be drawn”. “Filling up the minds of young people with enmity and hatred is a heavy burden both for the young people and for our island”, he said and added:
“It is important that they admitted that they had committed a mistake and apologised for it. In order to not repeat these mistakes, the culture of peace must be strengthened in both communities in all fields of life, from the family hearth to the school desks. As it came out in researches, unfortunately, many Greek Cypriot young people are brought up as fanatics, especially in schools. This and similar incidents show that it is absolutely necessary to get rid of fanaticism from the education policies. The young people and the communities must behave with respect to each other’s symbols and values. And the Bi-communal Technical Committee on Education is working to establish the culture of peace in Cyprus […]”.
President Akinci has returned the items to the school.