It’s a spring day in Athens. Over 120 Greek musicians and performers gather on the steps of the southern slope of the Acropolis to sing in Turkish. They gathered to express their solidarity with the Turkish protest band Grup Yorum.
Crossings between the Turkish and Greek Cypriot sides of the divided island and sealed shut by the coronavirus lockdown will gradually start reopening from June 8.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has accused the United Arab Emirates of trying to openly attack Turkey. "If you are asking who is destabilizing this region, who is bringing chaos, then we would say Abu Dhabi without any hesitation. They're trying to openly attack us from time to time, but we warned them to not cross the line," he said in response to criticism of Turkey's role in the Libyan conflict.
Turkey has blasted Greece, Greek Cyprus, Egypt, France and the United Arab Emirates after these countries issued a joint declaration denouncing Ankara’s policies in the eastern Mediterranean and Libya. In a strongly-worded statement, Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said these five countries were pursuing “regional chaos and instability” in the eastern Mediterranean and sacrificing Libyans’ “hope for democracy for the reckless aggression of dictators.”
The Turkish Cyprus has imposed a travel ban from and to the northern part of the island which it controls, amid coronavirus fears. Only Turkish Cypriot citizens, students who are studying at Turkish Cypriot universities and immigrants who have residency permits will be allowed to enter the breakaway state.
Turkish Cypriot President Akıncı's spokesman Burcu said that after Turkish Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu went as far as branding Akıncı a “supporter of terrorism” over his remarks on the prospect of annexation by Turkey, there have been death threats against the Turkish Cypriot leader even on television programs in Turkey. “What happened recently has once again show how right our President is,” said Burcu in a written statement on Feb. 11.
Turkish Cypriot President Mustafa Akıncı's remarks on the prospect of annexation by Turkey stirred debate in Turkey, with officials in Ankara releasing condemnations. "Akıncı needs to apologize for the disrespect he showed to the Turkish Republic and our people," AKP spokesperson Ömer Çelik said, adding that Akıncı's statements contradict his position as the leader of Turkish Cypriots.