Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci said on Saturday that only the people can remove his ‘powers’ as ‘president’ in a response to speculation that the political landscape in the north is attempting to sideline him.
In a post on Facebook, Akinci commented on a meeting President Nicos Anastasiades had with Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on the side-lines of the UN General Assembly in New York earlier this month, saying that there were many comments made about his inactivity and that only the people could remove him from power.
Earlier in the week, the government in Cyprus confirmed that Anastasiades met Cavusoglu, without elaborating on the details of the meeting.
Government spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said that the national council, which met on Monday, was informed about the meeting and its substance.
“The president did brief the national council about it and in light of the fact that the information has already leaked to the media, we must confirm that such a meeting had taken place in New York,” Prodromou said. “The members of the national council have been informed of its substance and there is no need to make any other comments.”
During the national council meeting, Anastasiades also suggested that maybe the Greek Cypriot side should consider a decentralised federation as a form of solution, a long-standing belief he had voiced at least as far back as July 4, 2010.
Meanwhile, in the north Akinci was seen to be being sidelined, as neither Cavusoglu nor Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan met him during the UN General Assembly.
The ‘foreign minister’ in the north Kudret Ozersay has been getting more publicity in the north in recent days as he seems to be gearing up to take over as Turkish Cypriot leader.
Ozersay met Disy leader Averof Neophytou twice over the last month, once in New York and once in Kormakitis.
Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika said Akinci was sidelined by Turkey because he did not abandon the position for a bi-zonal bi-communal solution to the Cyprus problem and opposed the “separate state formula.”
Arguing that the negotiations for the Cyprus problem are being held between the Republic and Turkey, the paper noted that Akinci was being pushed out of the process.
Akinci had said he knew of the Anastasiades Cavusoglu meeting, which took place “in order to find out the intentions.”
“We didn’t see much of a problem in that. My objection is for this becoming frequent. If Turkey and the Greek Cypriot side start negotiating That would disturb me. I won’t hide this,” he said.