Greek Cyprus rejects Turkish minister's invitation to match
Demetris Christofias. AP photoGreek Cypriot officials have rejected an invitation extended by Turkish EU Minister Egemen Bağış to President Demetris Christofias to come to Istanbul to watch a football game match between Turkish and Greek Cypriot opposition this fall.
Bağış had used Twitter to invite Christofias to watch Turkey's Fenerbahçe take on AEL Limassol in the Europa League on Nov. 8, adding that he would buy Christofias a cup of coffee after the game.
But Greek Cypriot spokesperson Stefanos Stefanou said today that the Twitter invitation was "not something that suited a minister," broadcaster NTV reported on its website.
"Mr. Egemen Bağış is putting forward a frivolous invitation to a football game. Such things do not suit a minister and Turkish politics would be lacking a serious attitude if such acts are condoned,” Stefanou said.
The spokesperson said Christofias was not seeking to visit Istanbul "to have fish by the Bosphorus as portrayed by the media," but sought to speak with the Turkish leadership to express his visions on a possible solution to the Cyprus issue.
Stefanou, however, did extend a formal invitation to Turkish Cypriot President Derviş Eroğlu to watch the clubs’ other match on Oct. 25 in Nicosia. "Eroğlu is welcome to watch the game between AEL and Fenerbahçe, should he wish to do so. Christofias and Eroğlu can watch the game as citizens of Cyprus in their common land."