Cyprus Mail

Volunteers in north to help Turkish forces in Afrin

Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci

Fifty volunteers in the north have signed up for the army to help Turkish soldiers fight in Syria’s Afrin region, it was reported on Wednesday.

According to the Cyprus News Agency citing press reports from the north, 50 members of the ‘association maintaining the ideas of Rauf Denktash’ have volunteered to fight in Turkey’s operation olive branch.

Leader of the association, Latif Aktsia, said the move was necessary as national interests cannot be supported with just words.

“If you don’t do what has to be done then it will come back to you.”

Aktsia said the volunteers were happy to repay “the debt towards the heroes that shed their blood to rescue and protect Turkish Cypriots in 1974.”

Turkey’s move to stamp out the Kurdish People’s Protection Unit (YPG) fighters from the Afrin area has sparked a slew of reactions in the north after Afrika newspaper on Sunday published a story on Sunday likening the operation in Syria to Ankara’s occupation of the north.

Violent protests took place on Monday which vandalised the paper’s offices, tearing down the Afrka sign and breaking windows.

Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci on Wednesday said violence was unacceptable calling the protestors provocateurs “that want to separate us”.

Such behaviour against a newspaper because there was disagreement over its views were unacceptable and such out of control situations had never been seen in the north before but justice should do its duty, the leader added.

Akinci said a day before the attack, he had spoken to the police chief and head of the security forces to take action so the protest against Afrika wouldn’t get out of control.

He said the police failed in its duties.

Meanwhile Turkish Cypriot teachers’ union Ktos is organising a rally on Friday against violence and fascism.



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