Okan Konuralp - Hürriyet / Istanbul, April 29 () - The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) is “an independent state” and it’s “not appropriate” to present Turkish Cypriots as under the tutelage of Turkey just because Ankara had provided support for them, the leader of the main opposition party has said in response to the spat between President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the newly-elected Turkish Cypriot leader over the nature of the relationship between the two countries.
“It’s not appropriate to present Turkish Cyprus as a state which is under the command and tutelage of Turkey” just because Ankara has given the TRNC support, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) head Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu told reporters. When asked if the CHP considers the TRNC as a “babyland,” Kılıçdaroğlu said the TRNC was an independent state.
“Turkey could aid and give support to many countries, but using that support as if it were a ‘right of empery’ and using such pitiless language does not suit the Turkey of the 21st century” he said.
“Turkish Cyprus has a different flag, parliament and judiciary. Their democracy and consciousness of democracy is far more developed than ours. They are more sensitive to corruption. We have to respect the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and its institutions” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
The CHP leader accused the government of perceiving everything as if it were in their own “backyard.”
“Do his ears hear what he says?” Erdoğan said during a press conference on April 27 after being asked by a journalist if he approved of a recent statement by Mustafa Akıncı, the new president of the TRNC, who has called for a new type of relationship with Turkey on more equal terms.
Akıncı, a leftist moderate who has promised to press for a peace deal in ethnically-split Cyprus, was elected the TRNC’s president in a run-off on April 26. He had reiterated his position that the status of the relationship between Turkey and Turkish Cyprus should change. “It should be a relationship of brothers/sisters, not a relationship of a motherland and a ‘babyland’” he had said.