Furore broke out on social media on Tuesday after a Facebook comment by Disy Larnaca municipal councillor Georgios Lakkotrypis, who called Paphos citizens “the only true Turks” as “Turkish Cypriots were Paphians who changed faith to save their properties. In other words, spawn of the Turks.”
Commenting under an article by Pafos Press, which referred to the comment as highly insulting, Lakkotrypis explained that his comment was referring to the Ottoman period in Cyprus, when “Turkish Cypriots were born”, after Paphos residents converted to Islam and “became Ottomans to save their properties.”
Responding to multiple calls to position himself on the matter, Disy president Averof Neophytou initially characterised the comment as “unacceptable, but one for which he has apologised.”
Later, Averof tweeted that “the position of G. Lakkotrypis has no place in the political discourse of Disy. Different views are respectable but racist speech cannot be tolerated,” adding that on Wednesday, he will request the party’s executive office to remove Lakkotrypis from the council.