Turkish Cypriots Rally Against Erdogan’s Plan for a Picnic at Varosha

Credit: @UniteCyprusNow/Twitter

Hundreds of Turkish Cypriots took to the streets in occupied Nicosia on Tuesday to protest Turkey’s “interference” days before Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is to visit the resort of Varosha, which was illegally opened last month.

Erdogan has promised to have a picnic with other Turkish and Turkish Cypriot officials at Varosha.

Credit: @UniteCyprusNow/Twitter

Demonstrators carried banners reading: “No picnic over others’ pain,” “Division means corruption,” and “Varosha and Cyprus belong to all Cypriots.”

Former Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, who was defeated last month in a “presidential” election by the Ankara-backed Ersin Tatar, also marched with the demonstrators.

Credit: @UniteCyprusNow/Twitter

“We are telling Turkey: you can’t run northern Cyprus from Ankara,” Gulsen Ercin, a spokeswoman for an organization which called for the demonstration, told AFP.

The reopening of Varosha on the eve of the north’s October 18 election infuriated the Republic of Cyprus and Greece and drew condemnation from the EU.