Turkish Cypriot leader hits back at Erdoğan over comments on indebtedness to Turkey

Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı said he was elected by the people of Cyprus after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told he owed his position to Turkey, Tele1 news site reported on Saturday.

A statement of Akıncı, the president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, criticising Turkey’s military offence in northeast Syria that was launched on Wednesday has ignited a spat between Turkish Cypriot government and Ankara.

"He should know his place. His post was given to him through the Republic of Turkey," Erdoğan said.

"There is only one authority decides how to get to this office; the Turkish Cypriot people," Akıncı said in an interview with Tele1.

Accusing Turkey of waging a war in northeast Syria by its military incursion dubbed Operation Peace Spring, the Turkish Cypriot leader said the naming of the offence was reminiscent of Turkey’s military intervention to Cyprus in 1974.

The island 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.