Nikolaos Stelya / DUVAR
The social democratic Communal Democracy Party (TDP) has decided to boycott Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's upcoming visit to the Turkish Cypriot parliament on July 20.
The TDP said in a statement that the boycott decision was taken due to Turkey's “intervention against Turkish Cypriot people's will and free and unique identity” and attempts to establish a domineering relationship, according to a news report in the online Turkish Cypriot newspaper “Detay.”
“As a result of our citizens not being taken into Turkey in recent days, we, as the TDP, have decided to not participate in the parliamentary session that will take place on July 20,” the party's statement further said.
The TDP was referring to the deportation of Ali Bizden, former Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı's press and communications coordinator, from Istanbul's Sabiha Gökçen Airport on the night of July 6.
The main opposition left-wing Republican Turkish Party (CTP) is also debating whether to attend the parliamentary session on July 20 or not, and will give its final decision during a party meeting.
Turkish Cypriot media outlets also alleged that former President Mehmet Ali Talat will boycott Erdoğan's visit and will not attend his speech at parliament.
The Turkish Cypriot government is of the opinion that left-wing politicians' reaction against Erdoğan will damage the relationship between the Turkey-Turkish Cyprus societies.
Deputy Prime Minister Erhan Arıklı, who is also the leader of the right-wing Rebirth Party (YDP), warned the opposition politicians against “provocations,” saying they “must show the political politeness to listen to” Erdoğan during his parliamentary address.
“After all, the president of the only country that recognizes us will speak...I hope that good sense prevails and there is no provocation. What if they [opposition politicians] participate and there is a provocation! I express that the CTP and TDP need to be careful,” Arıklı was quoted as saying by Turkish Cypriot newspaper “Kıbrıs Postası.”
Erdoğan will visit Northern Cyprus on July 20 for the anniversary of Ankara’s 1974 invasion that led to the division of the island.
The Turkish president has said that he will send a strong message worldwide during his visit.
Ankara backs the breakaway Turkish Cypriot administration in the north and is the only country that does not recognize the Greek Cypriot government to the south.
In October 2020, Turkish Cyprus partially re-opened Varosha, prompting a heavy backlash from the European Union and United Nations.
Earlier this week, Turkish Cypriot newspapers reported that Erdoğan might declare Varosha, currently a military area, as a civilian one, paving the way for the settlement of residents.