Greek police on Tuesday evening arrested 56 Greek Cypriot students during scuffles at a protest outside the Turkish Embassy in Athens over the arrival this week of the Turkish president in Greece.
The protest was organised by members of student group Drasis Kes – a far right group that opposes a settlement solution based on a bi-zonal bi-communal federation.
According to the Cyprus News Agency, the scuffles broke out when police tried to stop some students from erecting a banner at the entrance of the embassy.
The students were shouting slogans against Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci and Turkey and were calling for union of Cyprus with Greece.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is scheduled to arrive in Greece on Thursday morning for a two-day official visit, the first by a Turkish head of state since that of Celal Bayar in 1952.
Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos and President Nicos Anastasiades on Tuesday discussed issues concerning the Cyprus problem ahead of their Turkish counterpart’s visit to Greece this week during a telephone conversation.
According to state broadcaster CyBC, Pavlopoulos called Anastasiades to discuss the Cyprus problem and the stalled settlement talks, which the former is expected to discuss with Erdogan.
The two men, CyBC said, discussed how Pavlopoulos would bring up several aspects of the Cyprus problem with Erdogan.
Following the collapse of the Conference on Cyprus in Switzerland last July, which Greece and Cyprus blamed on Turkey’s intransigence, the government hopes that Erdogan’s visit to Athens will yield positive results regarding the island’s reunification process.
Particular attention is attached to the expected meeting between Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Erdogan and especially their possible discussion of the issue of security and guarantees.