T/C opposition leader confronts Erdogan on the Cyprus issue
Akinci tells Erdogan: ?Stop interfering in our free will?
According to local Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA (19/10/03), the leader of the Peace and Democracy Party (PDP) Mr Mustafa Akinci, was invited to Majorca, Spain, to take part in the International conference: The 5th Forum of Mediterranean Countries on ?Mediterranean fractures: Dialogue to overcome them? to which the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was also invited and made a long presentation without mentioning Cyprus.
Taking the floor after Erdogan, Mr Akinci said:
?As a Cypriot it is not possible for me to approve of the fact that there was no word about Cyprus, in a conference where the agenda is the problems in the Mediterranean. I welcome the steps taken by Esteemed Prime Minister Erdogan towards democratization in Turkey.
However, I cannot say the same thing for Cyprus .We have to find a solution to the Cyprus problem until May 2004. In this way, it will be possible for the Turkish Cypriots to enter into the EU next to the Greek Cypriots in a united Cyprus as well as for Turkey to get a date for starting accession negotiations by December 2004.
In order to realize this, it is a must that the December elections in Cyprus should be free and democratic. Last March our right to hold referendum, that is our right to decide our own future, was usurped. Now the forthcoming December elections as well was facing the same danger ; Denktas and his supporters are every day issuing new ?citizenship? to those coming from Turkey, thus changing the electoral structure. This way they are intervening in our free will.?
Akinci then addressing Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan sitting in front of him said: ?Esteemed prime minister, before this international community I call upon you to stop the issuing of citizenship as well as interfering in our free will .Otherwise, not only the future of the Turkish Cypriots will be threatened, Turkey?s future in the EU will be under threat as well?.
AFRIKA reports that following Akinci?s speech Erdogan intervened, took the floor and said: ?The elections should be carried out fairly and in a democratic manner. This is our expectation .What Greece does in the elections in south Cyprus we are doing just the same. We do not dispatch citizens there. This allegation is not true and I found it ugly. The Annan Plan should be evaluated as a whole .It is wrong to reject it completely. The sides should exhibit a positive approach.?
Turkish Cypriot daily ORTAM newspaper (21.10.03) reports that Mr Mustafa Akinci, the leader of the Peace and Democracy Movement (PDM) returned to occupied Cyprus yesterday. Mr Akinci was in Mallorca, Spain, where he participated in the International conference: The 5th Forum of Mediterranean Countries and where he made important statements regarding the Turkish Cypriots.
As the paper writes a large crowd gathered at the illegal Lefconiko airport to welcome the leader of PDM. The paper stresses that hundreds of persons went to the airport and it looked as if a demonstration was taking place. The persons who gathered chanted slogans in favour of reaching a solution to the Cyprus problem, peace in Cyprus and in favour of the political forces of the Turkish Cypriot opposition.
Addressing the crowd, Mr Akinci stated that what he did during the conference was just to express the will of the Turkish Cypriots. He also said that the PDM ?does not hide behind its finger? and that it will continue to convey the voice of the Turkish Cypriots to every platform. He also pointed out that this is not a hostile policy. ?We do not quarrel with anyone, our policy is not hostile to anyone, it is a policy which raises the honoured voice of the Turkish Cypriots?, he stressed. Mr Akinci went on and added: ?Our quarrel is a quarrel for humanity, democracy, descent life and a place in the European Union for the Turkish Cypriots?.
In addition, speaking on KIBRIS FM radio yesterday morning, prior to his arrival to occupied Cyprus, Mr Akinci stated that the Turkish foreign policy has difficulties to accept the realities. ?If the government of the Justice and Development Party really wants a solution, it must show this with its actions?, he said.