Party Leaders and Unionists Support Press Freedom

Turkish Cypriot daily ‘Afrika’ newspaper reported yesterday that it is getting support regarding the furore over an offensive cartoon featuring Turkish President Erdogan, it republished recently. ‘Afrika’ printed a cartoon penned by a Greek cartoonist depicting a Greek statue urinating on the head of President Erdogan after his visit to Greece. This was the first visit by a Turkish president in 65 years. The newspaper published the cartoon under headline “Through Greek Eyes”.

The leaders of the Communal Liberation Party New Forces (TKP) and the New Cyprus Party (YKP) were critical of Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Cyprus Affairs Recep Akdag, who had lambasted the newspaper, for his comments about the incident.

Mehmet Cakici and Izzet Izcan visited the newspaper’s office yesterday to give support. He said that Akdag’s statements were not only an attack against ‘Afrika’ newspaper but against the whole Turkish Cypriot community.

Cakici further said that the lynch mobs in front of the paper’s office are provoking a conflict between the Turkish Cypriots and the Turkish citizens in the TRNC.

On the same issue, the general secretary of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) Erdogan Sorakin, said that ‘Afrika’ newspaper should not become a target. Zeki Ali, on behalf of the Cyprus artists and writers’ association, condemned the attacks against ‘Afrika’, and the threats towards the newspaper’s owner, Sener Levent. He added that Turkey’s AKP administration should offer an apology. The organisation “The road to Independence”, the Cyprus Socialist Party (KSP), the Union of Cyprus Journalists and the Revolutionary Workers’ Party in Turkey also expressed their support for ‘Afrika’ newspaper and its journalists.

Meanwhile, members of the “Culture Association of the Black Sea” in the TRNC held a protest outside Afrika’s office by throwing eggs at the building and hurling abuse and insults. They were also yelling “Allah is great” and saying that the journalists are “selling out” and not to test their patience.


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