Main opposition AKEL yesterday defended the decision by one of its MEPs to open an office in the north arguing that the Republic of Cyprus (RoC) is the common home of both communities on the island.
The party said that those who react to the announcement by MEP Niyazi Kizilyurek that he would open an office in the north are the same ones who did not accept a Turkish Cypriot running in the Euro elections and pretend that they do not know that the constitution recognises two official languages, Greek and Turkish.
Kizilyurek said his aim is to bring the EU closer to the Turkish Cypriots, but his plan has been strongly criticised by some harder line political parties.
EDEK called on Kizilyurek and AKEL to reconsider this move arguing that while it is Kizilyurek’s right to open an office in the north, it would “directly or indirectly reinforce Turkish plans for a further upgrade of the occupation regime whose final goal is its recognition.”
According to the Solidarity Movement, the operation of the office in question would be illegal since MEPs can have up to three offices: one in Brussels, one in Strasburg and one in their place of residence.
“Mr Niyazi Kizilyurek does not live in the occupied areas,” the party said.
It added that this also sends out the wrong messages since the EU acquis is suspended in northern Cyprus.
Far-right Elam said the mover was yet another provocative act by AKEL’s Turkish Cypriot MEP and “a crime” against the homeland.
Such an act is unacceptable as regards the interests of the Republic, the party said since the property of a Greek Cypriot refugee “is being turned into a subject of usurpation by a ‘representative’ of the Republic of Cyprus in the EU while it will be financed by Europe’s own funds.”
AKEL, in response to criticism, called on all critics to explain “how the opening of an office by an MEP of the RoC in the occupied territory of the RoC – which is (also) part of the EU – in Turkish Cypriot property is an upgrade of the pseudo state?”
The party also reminded those defending the RoC, that they ought to defend it for what it really is: “The common home of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, and not a second Greek state.”
It also called on them to explain why they fight any act that brings the two communities closer and which reinforces contact, communication and dialogue between Cypriots.
According to AKEL, it is not the opening of the office in the north that foreign and Turkish circles that want to downgrade the RoC will take advantage of “but these nationalist outbursts.”
Later in the day, Elam hit back, accusing AKEL of serving Turkish interests.
AKEL ought to know, the party said, that the EU acquis will be applied in the north only after a solution to the Cyprus problem.