Newly elected Turkish Cypriot president pays first visit to Turkey
AA PhotoNewly elected Turkish Cypriot President Mustafa Akıncı made his first official visit to Ankara on May 6, a little more than a week after engaging in a war of words with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan over the status of the relationship between Turkey and Turkish Cyprus.
Akıncı arrived in Ankara on the invitation of Erdoğan and was welcomed by Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and Ankara Deputy Governor Mehmet Ali Ulutaş at Esenboğa Airport.
After visiting the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Turkish Republic, he had a meeting with Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu.
Akıncı and Erdoğan are expected to hold a joint press briefing on late May 6.
Akıncı, a leftist moderate who has promised to press for a peace deal in Cyprus, was elected the Turkish Cyprus president in a run-off on April 26. Ankara was irked by Akıncı’s remarks 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 her child,” he had said.
Erdoğan slammed these remarks on April 27. “Do his ears hear what he says? Even working together as brothers has its conditions. We paid a price for northern Cyprus. We gave martyrs and we continue to pay a price... For Turkey, northern Cyprus is our baby. We will continue to look at it the way a mother looks at her baby,” Erdoğan said.
Peace talks between the Greek Cypriot administration and the Turkish Cypriot government, which have been on hold since October 2014, are expected to resume in the second half of May, following a meeting of on May 11 between Akıncı and Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades.