A Turkish Cypriot couple have been charged with offences against public order and improper behaviour by hanging up the Republic of Cyprus flag outside their shop in Famagusta, Turkish Cypriot daily ‘Afrika’ reported yesterday.
Koray and Cinel Basdogrultmaci were arrested on 21st June, 2013 for hanging up the flag and since then have appeared in court, apparently for the fourth time on the same charges. At the hearing on 9th April, the couple were asked to apologise and both refused to do so. They also said that if they were fined, that they would prefer to go to jail rather than pay.
‘Afrika’ in its report, pointed out that while the couple were being prosecuted for hanging the flag up outside their shop, Turkish Prime Minister, Erdogan saluted the Cyprus Republic’s flag during the Mediterranean Olympic Games in Mersin.
General Secretary of the Cyprus Turkish Teachers’ Trade Union (KTOS) Sener Elcil issued a statement in support of the Turkish Cypriot couple, ‘Kibris Postasi’ reports.
In the statement Elcil said:
“This incidence has fully exposed the policies of this separatist structure that was established by Turkey and their local collaborators via violation of international law and was designed to force Turkish Cypriots flee from the Island.
It is clear that the ones who claim they saved us are actually after our soil. Like it was not enough that Turkish Cypriots became the minority in their own country and are impoverished and forced to migration with migration laws, now are tried at the courts for hanging the Cyprus Republic flag. This is clearly an occupation policy. It is also evident that while they claim to be pro-solution, in reality they can’t event stand Turkish Cypriots’ rights in Cyprus Republic.
We urge the ones who pulled us off from Cyprus Republic, doomed us to live in this “cowshed” system, deceived the community with embargo lies and judge us by their cheap nationalistic propaganda to immediately return their Cyprus Republic passports and IDs.
Holding and hanging the Cyprus Republic flag is not a crime. The related trial against Koray and Cinel Basdogrultmaci is completely political and Turkish authorities are the ones who are responsible.
We strongly protest the expansionist and colonising attitude that does not show any respect to Turkish Cypriots and emphasis our support and solidarity with Koray and Cinel Basdogrultmaci. We will plea to international law in support of anyone who’s unfairly treated by this system.”