President Akinci came in for some criticism for attending a celebration of Nevruz in Yeni Iskele. [Nevruz is a celebration of the arrival of spring, by and large secular in nature.] A group of organisations described as very unfortunate, the attendance of President Akinci, PM Omer Kalyoncu and other minister at the celebration.
Leader of the Turkish Cypriot Youth Initiative, Tuncay Ozkarasahin said he was also there at the celebrations and saw state officials in a cortege identified by PKK symbols and flags something which saddened him. “When you were dancing, yellow, green and red colours were there around you”, he told Akinci, noting that these are the colours of the PKK.
Akinci said that he did not see the entire Kurdish people as members of the PKK. “I participated in this activity last year as presidential candidate and this year as president. There is nothing wrong in this.”
“We are all against terrorism either by the PKK or the Islamic State”, adding that he thinks that “people should live together peacefully, regardless of their origin.”
Akinci said that he chatted with people during the celebrations for the coming of spring and added: “There was absolutely no flag and slogans when we were there. After we left, it was said that a group of young people with flags and slogans arrived. We did not see anyone. If some slogans were shouted after we left and these are contrary to the law, justice and legislation, the state will prosecute them. They will do whatever is necessary”.
Recalling the terror attack in Brussels, Akinci said that terrorism has no nation, religion and language and can be everywhere, adding that terror is an enemy of peace and humanity, but we cannot identify it with communities.
Replying, Akinci said: “What shall we do? Shall we prohibit colours as well? Where have colours been banned until now?”