Crisis between Akinci-Erdogan brewing
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sent a congratulatory message to the new Turkish-Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinici on 27 April, but warned that a solution to the Cyprus Problem could not come at any cost.
According to the message sent by Erdogan he personally congratulated Akinci for his win. He said, “Your election is during what can be characterised as a very critical time in the Cyprus Problem, which has been at a standstill for almost half a century. It will continue to be a priority to find a solution that is just and livable during the talks that will take place under UN guidance sometime in the future.” He added, “it is not possible to adopt a stance however, for a solution with any cost for the Cyprus Problem that has continued for half a century to be based on the misconception that the sole rule of the island lies on the Greek-Cypriot side.”
Erdogan continued on to say that he believes that Akinci will continue to support the fact that the Turkish-Cypriot side is one of the two equal communities on the island. He said, “At this critical time, in which we have both fought for, Turkey will continue to be the mother country and the protective power and will carry out its tasks and duties as such decisively according to international protocol. With these feelings and thoughts I once again give my congratulations.”
Erdogan’s statements after his message cause the first crisis between the leaders
Erdogan gave an interview to CNNTurk as he was at the airport, in regards to a statement by Akinci. Akinci had said, “there is no longer a small country, but rather two sister countries.”
The Turkish President answered this statement by saying, “The ‘president’ should listen with his ears what comes out of his mouth.”
Akinci was at CNNTurk for an internview at the time and he immediately answered Erdogan, saying, “Are we then to stay a small country? Shouldn’t we grow up? Are we to not stand on our feet?”