With reference to recent elections in the occupied north, Theodorou said “on the one hand, Ankara does not recognise the Republic of Cyprus and claims the occupied area is independent, but on the other hand Turkey imposes itself on Turkish Cypriots at every stage of negotiations with Greek Cypriots. This is quite typical of the duplicity and to put it kindly, mendacity shown by the Turkish government towards all Cypriots.”
When Mustafa Akinci was the winner in April elections in the occupied north, he was almost immediately lambasted by president Erdogan after Mr Akinci called for "a new type of relationship" with Turkey and for Ankara to stop treating the occupied north "as a child". President Erdogan wasted no time in letting Mr Akinci know just who calls the shots in the occupied north, even arrogantly asking if Mr Akinci's "ears hear what comes out of his mouth?"
Mr Akinci’s victory was welcomed in the free areas of the Republic of Cyprus and President Anastasiades said, in effect “we can do business with him.” But that optimism can only be short-lived as Ankara continues to assert itself at the negotiating table from behind the scenes.
Theodorou cited further statements by president Erdogan who claimed that the occupied area is Turkey's "son… how can he [Mr Akinci] stop regarding Turkey as the motherland?”. Erdogan went on to remind Mr Akinci that Ankara is the source of the occupied area's budget – as if further evidence was required that the occupied area is a subordinate of Turkey.
“Mr Akinci and President Anastasiades can have as cordial relations as they wish,” Theodorou stated, “but it is obvious that any Cyprus solution lies in Ankara and not in Nicosia. It is up to Turkey to remove its army of occupation and its colonists, and allow refugees the right to return and reclaim their properties".
Cyprus was invaded in 1974 by Turkey which has since then occupied 38 per cent of the country in the north. Turkey forced out virtually the entire indigenous Greek, Armenian and Maronite Cypriot communities and replaced them with colonists from Turkey. Turkey established an illegal occupation regime in the north which proclaimed itself independent in 1983 but is recognised only by Turkey – it's overlord and paymaster. The Republic of Cyprus, which officially encompasses the entire island, is universally accepted and recognised as the sole legitimate country and government on the island.
“Akinci’s large vote, defeating the incumbent nationalist pro-Turkey leader Eroglu, was partly based on the fact that he promised to push for a deal with Greek Cypriots at the earliest possible date” Theodorou commented, “but it is obvious that the Turkish government has its own thoughts and as usual will seek to impose a solution that suits Ankara and not the Cypriots – who should be allowed to determine their own future: one that is free from Turkish occupation and colonisation.”
Lobby for Cyprus is a non-party-political human rights organisation with the aim of reuniting Cyprus.