“This was a very unfortunate declaration,” Mr. Erdoğan said. “It is disrespectful, and I do not believe that Turkish Cypriots will accept it. This outburst ignores the struggle of former presidents [TRNC Founding President] Rauf Denktaş and [former Turkish Cypriot leader Dr] Fazıl Küçük”.
Mr. Akıncı, who spoke to Guardian newspaper on Feb. 6 after launching his presidential campaign the day before, was quoted in the publication as stating that he was “not going to be a second Tayfür Sökmen” – referring to the President of Hatay. Hatay voted to join the rest of Turkey in a referendum in 1939.
Mr. Erdoğan reacted strongly.
“Hatay is part of the motherland and. . .Mr Sökmen is a national hero. The decision was taken back then to make Turkey stronger.”
“The TRNC and Turkey are inseparable,” he concluded.
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