Politics 10:38 26/02/2020 Region

Turks attack each other: Cypriot Turkish leader criticizes Turkey

By Harut Sassounian

Publisher, The California Courier

Turkish columnist Orhan Kemal Cengiz wrote an article in the Turkish website “al-Monitor” on February 18, 2020, titled: “Why is Turkish Cypriot leader declared ‘enemy’ in Turkey?” The article provided the details of the antagonism between the government of Turkey and the leader of Turkish Cyprus.

Ever since the Turkish occupation of Northern Cyprus in 1974, the Republic of Turkey has spent billions of dollars and stationed thousands of Turkish troops to preserve its foothold on the island.

In recent months, the Turkish media has publicized the hostility between the government of Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot leader. “Turkish officials and politicians visiting the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which is recognized as a state only by Ankara, have refused to meet with its president, Mustafa Akinci, since October,” wrote Cengiz.

The conflict started with the Turkish invasion of Northern Syria last October, when Akinci dared to criticize the “Sultan” of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan: “Now, even if we call it [the Turkish invasion of Syria] Operation Peace Spring, what is being spilled is not water but blood. For this reason, it is my greatest wish that dialogue and diplomacy come into play as soon as possible.” Hundreds of Turks in Turkey have been imprisoned for criticizing the Turkish military campaign in Syria. Going beyond Syria, Akinci expressed his disagreement with Turkey regarding its invasion of Northern Cyprus: “Even though we called it Operation Peace, it was a war and blood was spilled in 1974.” According to Cengiz, “by drawing a comparison between the two interventions, Akinci was obviously trying to say that military operations in foreign lands create lasting problems and, therefore, he was inviting Turkey to consider other options in Syria.”

Even though Akinci’s criticisms of the Turkish military invasions were well-meaning, Erdogan, who does not tolerate dissent, was furious, stating that Akinci had “exceeded his limits” and adding that the electorate will soon teach him a “lesson.” Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay also condemned the Turkish Cypriot leader. Cengiz reported that “in Northern Cyprus, meanwhile, Akinci received death threats, for which he requested a judicial investigation.”

Columnist Cengiz further reported that “Akinci’s remarks made him a scapegoat in Turkey and fueled an unprecedented wave of reactions, the harshest that any Northern Cyprus representative has ever seen. [Turkish] MHP leader Devlet Bahceli called on Akinci to immediately resign. ‘Akinci and his supporters should not forget that Cyprus is Turkish and will remain Turkish,’ Bahceli said. He also suggested that Akinci move to the Greek Cypriot south. AKP spokesman Omer Celik urged Akinci to apologize, while Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the Northern Cyprus leader was being ‘hostile to Turkey’ and that he had never seen ‘such a dishonest politician’ in his life. With the tone set like that by top politicians, pro-government newspapers were even harsher. ‘The Crusaders’ Akinci should resign immediately,’ one paper said, while another declared that Akinci was ‘like an enemy.’”

Cengiz explained in his article that “it is Turkey that pays the bills in Northern Cyprus through direct and indirect financial aid. Therefore, Cypriot Turks should always be grateful to Ankara. Turkey is ‘the mother’ and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is her ‘baby.’ Anything that goes beyond this notion of subordination would threaten the status quo.”

In an interview with The Guardian on February 6, 2020, Akinci warned the “permanent partition of its [Cyprus’s] Greek and Turkish communities unless an agreement is swiftly reached involving an ‘equitable’ federal solution.” Akinci said he disagreed with Erdogan’s vision of the relationship between Ankara and Nicosia as one of “mother and baby…. I want independent, brotherly relations,” he explained. He acknowledged the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus had to do more to make its economy less reliant on Turkey, which pays the government’s bills. To do this he needed support from the [Greek] south, Akinci told The Guardian.

“Akinci -- who on Wednesday evening [Feb. 5, 2020] launched his re-election campaign -- said the only viable solution to Cyprus’s nearly half century of division was reunification under a federal ‘roof’.... ‘If this failed to happen,’ Akinci told The Guardian, ‘the north would grow increasingly dependent on Ankara and could end up being swallowed up, as a de facto Turkish province.’”

“Akinci’s vision, which is shared by many Turkish Cypriots, calls for a bi-communal, bi-zonal Cyprus with political equality and a single ‘personality,’ he told The Guardian. It is based on a shared identity of being islanders of Cyprus, rather than being Turkish or Greek,” Cengiz wrote.

“Akinci’s likely election run-off rival is Ersin Tatar, an outspoken pro-Ankara populist who opposes reconciliation with the south. Tatar, the current prime minister, favors a two-state solution. He enjoys strong support from Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and from settlers who have arrived in unquantified numbers from the mainland, changing the island’s religious and cultural makeup,” The Guardian wrote.

“I’m not going to be a second Tayfur Sökmen,” Akinci told The Guardian, referring to the president of Hatay, who in the 1930s merged his republic -- formerly part of French-mandated Syria -- with Turkey after a referendum.

The dispute between Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot leader is deviating the Turkish government’s attention away from a slew of other serious conflicts Turkey has with Armenia, Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Greece and Cyprus.

Source Panorama.am
Share |
Տեքստում սխալ կամ վրիպակ նկատելու դեպքում, ուղարկեք խմբագրին հաղորդագրություն` նշելով տվյալ սխալը, այնուհետև սեղմելով Ctrl-Enter:


Health authorities in Armenia take note of WHO recommendation on coronavirus hydroxychloroquine trial
The Ministry of Health in Armenia discusses the recent decision by the World Health Organization (WHO) to temporarily suspend testing of the...
Pashinyan calls for tougher sanctions against those who neglect the preventive rules
Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan chaired a session of the commission coordinating the activities for preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the...
Lavrov says Russia, Armenia enjoy close military cooperation
Armenian-Russian relations are characterized as allied and are allied in reality, Russian FM Sergey Lavrov told reporters on Tuesday after an...
PM says strict measures could be reintroduced to combat the pandemic
Public adherence to regulations and protective measures prescribed by the Commandant’s Office may improve the epidemiological situation in...
Russia to reduce gas price for Georgia by 15%
Georgia has revised the current contract with the Russian gas holding Gazprom and negotiated an approximately 15% imported gas price cut,...
Davit Babayan replaced by Vahram Poghosyan
Artsakh Republic President Arayik Harutyunyan signed a decree, according to which Vahram Poghosyan was appointed Head of Information...
Lavrov suggests CSTO member states to boost biosecurity cooperation 
Russia has offered the countries of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), a post-Soviet security bloc, to consider priority...
ECHR ruling on Safarov case more significant for Armenia than the family of lieutenant Margaryan, lawyer says
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruling  on case of Makuchyan and Minasyan v. Azerbaijan and Hungary is extremely important...
New Artsakh police chief awards his predecessor
Artsakh President-elect Arayik Harutyunyan introduced on Tuesday new Chief of Police Ashot Hakobjanyan to the people. At a meeting with the...
Judge Anna Danibekyan will be among ‘those responsible for any health risks’, says Kocharyan's lawyer
"We are experiencing an extraordinary situation when we are recording a daily three-digit increase in the number of coronavirus cases....
Lufthansa agrees €9bn rescue deal with Germany
Lufthansa has agreed a rescue deal worth €9bn (£8bn) with the German government that saves it from collapse, BBC News reports....
Armenian PM congratulates Georgian counterpart on national holiday
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has sent a congratulatory message to Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia on Georgia’s national...
Kremlin spokesman Peskov discharged from hospital to gradually start working from home
Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov has told TASS that he was discharged from a hospital where he was receiving treatment after testing positive...
Court hearing in case of Kocharyan and others postponed for several reasons
The court hearing in the case of Armenia’s second President Robert Kocharyan and three other former top officials had to be postponed on...
Military helicopter crash-lands in Russia, kills 4 on board
A Russian military helicopter crash-landed on an airfield Tuesday in the far eastern region of Chukotka, killing four people, AP reported,...
ECHR rules violation of right to life, prohibition of discrimination by Azerbaijan in Gurgen Margaryan’s case
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) issued a judgement in the Case of Makuchyan and Minasyan v. Azerbaijan and Hungary. The court held...
Armenia marks Sardarapat Battle Victory Day
Armenia celebrates Sardarapat Battle Victory Day each year on May 26. The Battle of Sardarapat, which took place on May 21-28 1918, is one...
Austrian president apologizes for breaking Covid-19 curfew
Austria's President Alexander Van der Bellen has apologized after breaking the country's coronavirus curfew, CNN reports.  Van...
Armenian parliament kicks off regular session with face mask debates
The Armenian National Assembly started its four-day session on Tuesday with debates on the demand to wear face masks during the sittings....
Japan lifts state of emergency for entire country
Japan has lifted the state of emergency status for the entire country. The last areas to change their status were Hokkaido and Tokyo’s...
Coronavirus: Armenia reports 289 new cases on May 26
Armenia has confirmed 289 new coronavirus infections, bringing the total number of cases to 7,402 in the country as of 11 a.m. Tuesday, May 26,...
IMF: Armenia’s COVID-19 assistance package makes up 2% of its GDP
The coronavirus pandemic has impacted the economies of many countries significantly, causing an economic crisis and numerous social problems. To...
WHO suspends hydroxychloroquine, chloroquine trials for coronavirus treatment pending safety review
The World Health Organization said it will temporarily halt global trials of hydroxychloroquine – the malaria drug President Trump said he...
Relatives of Armenian axed to death by Azeri officer call for justice – The Guardian
Relatives of a murdered Armenian army officer killed with an axe by an Azerbaijani counterpart on a Nato training programme in Budapest are...
Roma push to extend Mkhitaryan's loan deal
Roma are in negotiations with Arsenal to extend Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s loan and add an obligation to buy in June 2021, Football Italia...
Court hearing in case of Kocharyan and others postponed as a lawyer tests positive for Covid-19
The court hearing in the case of Armenia’s second President Robert Kocharyan and three other former officials will be postponed,...
More coronavirus deaths recorded in Shirak province
47 patients are currently treated at Gyumri Infectious Hospital in Shirak province, the Governor’s office reported in its daily update,...
Pashinyan calls for developing a new concept on the use of pan-Armenian potential in the foreign policy arena
Armenia’s FM Zohrab Mnatsakanyan reported PM Pashinyan on Monday on the activities that the ministry implemented in 2019 in pursuit of...
Austrian hospital performs first COVID-19 lung transplant in Europe
Doctors in Austria completed a lung transplant on a COVID-19 patient, the first to be done in Europe, the Medical University of Vienna said in...
Three flights to Yerevan scheduled for May 27
Belavia air company will operate a round trip charter flight from Minsk to Yerevan on May 27. The plane is scheduled to arrive in Yerevan at...

Follow us and get updates!

Most popular articles

{"core.blocks.header.spell_message1":"Selected mistake: ","core.blocks.header.spell_message2":"Send a message about the mistake?"}