Referring to the Troodos fire, which lasted for five days, President Mustafa Akinci says that he had made efforts to offer assistance to quell the fire, which claimed the lives of two firemen, to prevent an environmental disaster.
In a written statement issued on Wednesday, regarding the events of the last few days, Akinci stated that “our guide in this instance could not be the established modes of politics and diplomacy” and that “our guide should be reason only and the principles of humanism”.
He said: “In the face of such a tragedy, it does not matter to me where these vehicles [firefighting aircraft] land and from where they take off, how they will be coordinated and what this means politically. Unfortunately, the fire continued and spread until Tuesday. Meanwhile, the EU was asked for help. In circumstances in which the fire could not be controlled, I called Mr Anastasiades three times, strongly stressing that we should leave aside political arguments in order to be able to save the forests together and that he should break the mold and see this issue as a humanitarian one”.
Akinci said that after the Greek Cypriots rejected the idea of firefighting helicopters and an airplane from Turkey landing at Ercan airport, the Turkish Cypriots suggested that they could land in the areas of Pınarbaşı and Morfou [Guzelyurt] and that they could take water from Morfou Bay, which is the closest body of water to the fire.
The President noted that after his last telephone conversation with President Anastasiades, no one called him and that he found out about the South’s decision through the press. He expressed sorrow because the landing zone of the helicopters and the sea from which they could be taking water, had been used politically and the issue was not approached focusing on the North’s geographic proximity to the fire and the effectiveness of fighting the fire on all fronts.