‘Cyprus is Turkish’ Says Nationalist Leader

Devlet Bahceli (file photo)

The leader of Turkey’s far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) has claimed the island of Cyprus is Turkish.

Devlet Bahceli, whose party has been suffering in opinion polls ahead of the June 24 presidential and parliamentary elections, was reported by the pro-government Yeni Safak newspaper as telling a campaign rally: “Cyprus is Turkish and will remain so.”

He was responding to Greek criticism of a MHP campaign ad which shows the whole island under the Turkish flag.

Bacheli has goaded Greece in the past, with aggressive remarks directed at politicians on this side of the Aegean. In April, Bahceli launched a stinging attack on Greece’s defense minister Panos Kammenos saying that he should be “visiting a clinic”.