Turkish Cypriot PM to block TOMA purchase
Ömer Bilge NICOSIA - Hürriyet
The Mass Incident Intervention Vehicle (TOMA) is an armored vehicle which became a symbol of the police’s crackdown on Gezi protests in Turkey over the summer. DAILY NEWS photo/ Emrah GÜRELTurkish Cyprus’ prime minister has vowed to stand guard to prevent Turkish-produced water cannon – an armored vehicle which became a symbol of the police’s crackdown on Gezi protests in Turkey over the summer – from entering his country despite a standing order for the vehicles.
“It is not within our power whether or not to allow [the Mass Incident Intervention Vehicle (TOMA)] in; if necessary, we will stand at the border gate and not let it in,” said Özkan Yorgancıoğlu, whose Turkish Party-United Front (CTP-BG) won July elections with 38.49 percent of the vote.
“Civil authority is unauthorized to purchase a TOMA. We will do all we can to block this vehicle from entering the country,” the prime minister said, responding to criticisms in Parliament.
The order was originally placed by the Turkish Cypriot security forces command in May via the Economy Ministry, although the request did not become controversial until the eruption of the Gezi protests at the end of the month, when the TOMAs were used extensively in an effort to disperse angry demonstrators across Turkey.