Thousands protest in north over Turkish interference

Thousands of people rallied against Turkey’s intervention in Turkish Cypriot affairs on Tuesday evening in northern Nicosia.

The event, organised by the Democracy and Will platform, was attended by former Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, leader of main opposition Republican Turkish Party Tufan Erhurman and leader of the Communal Democracy Party (TDP) Cemal Ozyigit.

Protesters, holding placards and banners shouted, slogans against external interventions.

Anger and indignation have been seething in the north over Ankara’s blatant intervention in last month’s election by boosting the candidacy of Ersin Tatar, who won and became the new Turkish Cypriot leader.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s announcement he would arrive in Cyprus on Sunday, the 37th anniversary of the unilateral declaration of independence in the north, for a picnic in the recently opened part of the fenced area of Varosha and works undertaken there by Turkish companies have added insult to injury.

Among the slogans written on placards were: ‘Freedom, not enforcement’, ‘We do not want an appointed administrator’, ‘Cyprus is secular and will remain secular’, ‘The last word in Cyprus, belongs to the Cypriots’, ‘Ankara take your hands off us’ and ‘No picnic over others’ pain’.

Akel lent its support to the Turkish Cypriot protesters’ struggle. The party said this was a “common struggle for an island where the Cypriots alone, freely and democratically, will decide on their internal affairs, without the involvement of any third parties.”

This struggle, the party said, was intertwined with the goal of achieving a federal solution that will reunite Cyprus and its people.

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