Turkey, Politics, archive

New Turkish Cypriot leader determined to work with Turkey

Mustafa Akinci was sworn in Thursday as the fourth president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus

30.04.2015
New Turkish Cypriot leader determined to work with Turkey

LEFKOSA, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus 

The new president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus said Thursday he is determined to work with Turkish authorities on the Cyprus issue.

Mustafa Akinci was sworn in Thursday as the fourth president of TRNC.  

"A self-sufficient Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus with the ability to govern itself will be able to find its place as a federal structure in international law and EU institutions," Akinci said. 

He added that such a development would benefit both the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey.

The Cyprus issue has remained on the agenda between the Greek and the Turkish parts of the island since a Greek Cypriot coup was followed by a Turkish peace mission to aid Turkish Cypriots in the north in 1974.

'Motherland' row

After the swearing-in ceremony, Akinci met Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc.

The two leaders played down an earlier spat between Akinci and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan after the newly-elected leader said his government wanted "brotherly" ties with Ankara, rather than the traditional "foster land-motherland" relationship.

The remarks prompted a strong response from Erdogan, who told Akinci that he "has to watch his words."

On Thursday, Arinc said the "motherland" metaphor was meant to emphasize a relationship of love and sincerity.

"We have only one concern,” Arinc said. "It is to achieve an economically strong Northern Cyprus that stands on its feet with peace, happiness, stability and prosperity."

Akinci responded by saying he would work closely with the Turkish government and that he recognized that he had a responsibility to observe and enhance the ties between Ankara and Lefkosa.

Having won the runoff presidential election Sunday, and garnering 60.38 percent of the ballots, Akinci replaced Dervis Eroglu, who received 39.62 percent of the votes. 

Arinc, Undersecretary of Foreign Ministry Feridun Sinirlioglu, Turkey's Ambassador to Lefkosa Halil Ibrahim Akca, as well as a number of ministers, deputies, military officials and civilians were present at the swearing-in ceremony that took place at the parliament.

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