Turkish Cypriots march against Erdoğan visit

Hundreds of people in northern Cyprus protested on Tuesday against "interference" by Ankara, days before Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan expected to visit a disputed and reopened beach resort for a picnic, Agence France Presse reported.

"No picnic at the expense of others", "No interference", "Freedom for all", and "In Cyprus, the Cypriots have their say", chanted the demonstrators, who included opposition leaders, AFP said.

"We are telling Turkey: you can't run northern Cyprus from Ankara," said Gülşen Erçin, a spokesperson for an organisation that called for the demonstration in Nicosia, the island's divided capital, according to the news agency.

Erdoğan said he was planning to visit northern Cyprus next week, to attend some ceremonies and “hold a picnic all together in the closed Varosha region”, according to the Turkish state-run Anadolu news agency on Saturday.

The fenced-off former resort town of Varosha had been closed since the island’s division in 1974 and was partially opened again last month despite objections from the United Nations.

Erdoğan had brought up the picnic last month, when former Prime Minister Ersin Tatar was elected president in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. The Turkish president is expected to visit the TRNC on Sunday.