Leader of Turkey’s far-right party MHP, Devlet Bahçeli has demanded that President Mustafa Akinci resign after comments he made in an interview with UK daily ‘The Guardian’ were published.
President Akıncı said in the interview that Cyprus faced permanent partition of its Greek and Turkish communities unless an agreement was swiftly reached involving an “equitable” federal solution.
If this failed to happen, he said, North Cyprus would grow increasingly dependent on Ankara and could end up being swallowed up, as a de facto Turkish province.
Commenting on the possibility of a full military takeover by Turkey, Akıncı was quoted by the Guardian as saying the prospect of a Crimea-style annexation was “horrible“.
The leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Bahçeli said that the interview had exposed the scandalous attitude of Akıncı, the President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), a breakaway state only recognised by Turkey.
“Therefore it is an inevitable and vital responsibility for him to hand over the duty entrusted to him to the will of the Cypriot Turks by immediately resigning from office”, Bahçeli said about Akıncı in a written statement published on Saturday.
“Akıncı and his supporters should not forget that Cyprus is Turkish and will remain Turkish,” Turkish daily ‘Hürriyet’ quoted Bahçeli as saying.
Prime Minister Ersin Tatar also added his voice to Akıncı’s critics by saying in a written statement:
“That Akinci criticises Turkey with his claims is a wrong behaviour with the aim of winning the election,” Tatar added that the Turkish Cypriots would punish Akıncı by not voting for him in the 26 April elections.
Meanwhile, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu waded in saying that he had never worked with such an untrustworthy politician as Mustafa Akinci.
President Akıncı responded in a written statement on Sunday that he stood behind his remarks.
Reminding that Turkish Cypriots never embraced the possibility of annexation [to Turkey], Akıncı said that this scenario is against both Turkish Cypriots’ and Turkey’s interests.
Akıncı repeated the demand and need for a comprehensive federal solution in Cyprus in his statement.
“As people who are secular and democratic, internalised the culture of tolerance and peace and adhered to Atatürk’s principles; Turkish Cypriots want to continue their struggle for a life in modern European values. This struggle should be respected, not attacked”, he said.