Turkish Cyprus condemns attacks on citizens in Greek Cyprus
NICOSIATurkish Cyprus has condemned an attack by nationalist Greek Cypriots on three Turkish Cypriots in Greek Cyprus, adding that they have demanded that Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades’ government immediately move to rectify the incident.
Barış Burcu, a spokesperson for Turkish Cypriot President Mustafa Akıncı, issued a statement on May 17 condemning the attack on three Turkish Cypriot citizens by a group of Greek Cypriots on May 14.
The three victims were traveling by car on a busy street in the Greek Cypriot part of Nicosia when they were cut off and attacked by a group of Greek Cypriot motorcyclists who were carrying the flags of Greece and local football club APOEL, which is known for its right-wing stance.
Burcu said they had transmitted their demands to Anastasiades via the Greek Cypriot negotiator for the Cyprus problem, Andreas Mavroyiannis, that the perpetrators be found and punished immediately and that the three Turkish Cypriots’ losses be covered.
Burcu’s statement said Greek Cyprus had told them that the attack was not only made on Turkish Cypriots but also on the fans of a rival, left-wing football club – Omonia – who were riding in four or five cars.
Greek Cyprus added that they would show the utmost effort to compensate the Turkish Cypriots on their losses and protect their rights, the statement read.
The island has been divided since 1974 when Turkey partially intervened into northern Cyprus after the occurrence of a Greek Cypriot coup aimed at unification with Greece.
United Nations-brokered peace talks were re-launched in May last year, after the election of Akıncı as the new president of Turkish Cyprus.
The leaders of the two communities on the island have expressed a common will that a deal could be struck in 2016.
“Nowadays, when we try to form a common future through means of negotiations with a perspective of seeing each other as the future’s common partners and not enemies, we condemn this attack that harms the process and mutual trust,” said the statement, adding that such “unacceptable acts should be condemned by both parties at the highest level.”