Spokesman for President Mustafa Akinci, Barış Burcu yesterday spoke of his sadness about the vitriolic attacks launched against the President following an interview with UK daily ‘The Guardian’.
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 did not 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, Akinci was quoted by the ‘Guardian’ as saying that the prospect of a Crimea-style annexation was “horrible”. Following which, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu claimed that Akinci was untrustworthy. Burcu responded by saying that Akinci’s name was synonymous with honesty and there was no reason to question it.
He recalled that Akinci has served the community from various posts for many years. Akinci was the first elected mayor for North Nicosia and remained uncontested in that post for 14 years until 1990. Burcu said that “Throughout his political life he always received support from the people and served no one but the people”.
Burcu also noted that after Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu’s indictment of Akinci for “supporting terrorism”, TV presenters in Turkey had even threatened the life of the Turkish Cypriot leader.
“The insults and threats have been embarrassing”, he added, recalling that Akinci was the first to react to the coup organized by a terrorist organization in Turkey on July 15, 2016 before even knowing his whereabouts, he had contacted the Turkish Foreign Minister by phone to express his support. Akinci has fought for democracy all his life, he said.
He also recalled that the Presidency had published the full text of the ‘Guardian’ interview in Turkish as well as its audio in English, and argued that the views expressed therein were sincere thoughts that protected the interests of both the Turkish Cypriot people and Turkey.
Burcu concludes by saying that Akinci has repeatedly expressed these views in the past and will continue to defend them.