Jan 27 2018

Thousands of Turkish Cypriots protest Ankara meddling

Thousands of Turkish Cypriots demonstrated at a rally against Turkey’s policies towards the breakaway northern part of the island, British liberal newspaper the Guardian said.

At least 5,000 people took part in the rally, the newspaper said, quoting a trade unionist as saying that Turkish Cypriots did not want to be in a situation like Turkey where opponents of the regime were jailed.

Turkey invaded the northern third of Cyprus in 1974 after a short-lived Greek Cypriot coup seeking to unite the island with Greece and maintains tens of thousands of troops there. Multiple attempts at trying to reunite the island have failed. 

“Tensions with the Turkish government mounted this week after a mob of hardliners attacked the office of the Turkish Cypriot newspaper Afrika for running a front-page article critical of the country’s military offensive against Kurdish militants in Syria,” the Guardian said.

Turkey has arrested journalists and others on the mainland who have criticised its week-old offensive against the Kurdish-held enclave of Afrin in northern Syria.