Turkish Cypriot President receives death threats over statement on Turkey’s Syria offensive

Mustafa Akıncı, the President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, said he had received death threats after criticising Turkey’s military operation in northern Syria, T24 news site reported.

Criticism of Turkey’s Operation Peace Spring against Kurdish-led forces in Syria has been virtually prohibited by the Turkish government, which announced last week it had detained more than 100 people for “insulting” the military operation.

So the statement denouncing the operation by Akıncı, the president of a state that is only formally recognised by Ankara, sparked considerable controversy in Turkey.

“Some people have chosen to insult me instead of telling their opinions, some of them even went so far as to make death threats in response to opinions I expressed in my statement a few days ago,” Akıncı said.

The Turkish Cypriot President has provided details of the death threats to the police, T24 said.

Akıncı on Saturday accused Turkey of waging a war in northeast Syria by its military incursion dubbed Operation Peace Spring and said the naming of the offence was reminiscent of Turkey’s military intervention to Cyprus in 1974.

His comment ignited a full-blown spat between the Turkish Cypriot government and Ankara.

Cyprus is split between the Republic of Cyprus and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus following the invasion of Turkey, which has since maintained a military presence in the northern part of the island.