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Dublin: 15 °C Monday 13 July, 2020

Geldof draws ire of Greek Cypriots over concert in Turkish-occupied area

The event in Famagusta has drawn widespread condemnation from Cyprus’ Greek-speaking community.

The Boomtown Rats in concert - Birmingham Source: Katja Ogrin

BOB GELDOF HAS drawn the ire of Greek Cypriots, who this week urged him to cancel a concert he is due to play tonight in the Turkish-occupied north of the divided island.

The veteran Irish singer and his band, The Boomtown Rats, are set to play a free gig at the Eastern Mediterranean University in the port city of Famagusta – but the planned event has drawn widespread condemnation from Cyprus’ Greek-speaking community.

“A concert in the occupied north of Cyprus just goes to show the division between what you say & what you do!,” said one irate Twitter user.

Another accusing him of performing a personal publicity stunt.

The eastern Mediterranean island has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded the northern third in response to an Athens-inspired coup seeking union with Greece.

Lobby for Cyprus, a UK-based Greek Cypriot pressure group, also weighed in reminding Geldof of the Turkish invasion by posting a front page from the Sunday Times from the 1970s.

Decades of peace talks have failed to reunite Cyprus, and the self-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is still only recognised by Ankara.

Geldof is not the first performer to fall foul of the island’s delicate politics.

In 2012, Julio Iglesias launched a lawsuit against Turkish Cypriot authorities after claiming he was duped into signing a contract to perform in the north.

In 2010, a concert by Jennifer Lopez, scheduled to take place in northern Cyprus, was cancelled after extensive campaigning by Greek Cypriot groups.

Rihanna also cancelled a concert after a similar campaign.

© – AFP 2017 

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