Feb 22 2018

Six sentenced to jail for attacking Cypriot newspaper

Six men charged with attacking a Turkish Cypriot daily newspaper, Afrika, were handed down prison sentences in North Nicosia today. Tacan Reynar, the judge of the case at Nicosia Criminal court, charged six attackers with prison sentences ranging from 2 to 6 months. 

Afrika newspaper published an article last month likening Turkey’s ongoing military operation in Syria to its military occupation of Cyprus where Turkey kept troops since 1974 when it invaded the island following a coup by the supporters of union with Greece. The newspaper's headline provoked the anger of Turkish nationalists. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also expressed his outrage over the article, inviting his supporters in Cyprus "to give the necessary response.” 

A group of angry demonstrators, including the six sentenced, on January 22 attacked Afrika newspaper following the Turkish President's insinuation. Holding Turkish and Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus flags, demonstrators chanted slogans in support of Turkish President Erdoğan. Cyrus newspapers reported that some in the crowd threw stones and eggs at the building,  and tried to enter the paper.