Cyprus Mail

Akinci accuses ‘state’ broadcaster of party politics over archive return

Former Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci

Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci criticised ‘state’ broadcaster Bayrak (BRT) on Wednesday for failing to attend the ceremony for the delivery of the CyBC archival material of Turkish Cypriot artists to news outlets in the north.

He accused BRT of putting party politics over its mandate as ‘state’ broadcaster.

The audio-visual material from the 1960-’63 period was provided by CyBC in exchange for the Turkish Cypriots returning some 200 paintings belonging to Greek Cypriots left behind during the 1974 invasion. The exchange was a confidence-building measure agreed by the two leaders in February 2019.

The audio-visual material was delivered on Tuesday to the ‘national archive’, the Turkish Cypriot news agency and television stations. BRT however was not present at the ceremony.

Akinci said the ‘state’ broadcaster ought to have been the first to promote this archival material.

The Turkish Cypriot leader condemned the behaviour of the station’s management making a clear link to party politics.

The head of the BRT board is always appointed by the ‘government’. The current chair and another board member were appointed by the ruling National Unity Party (UBP) which is ‘prime minister’ Ersin Tatar’s party. ‘Deputy prime minister’ Kudret Ozersay’s People’s Party (HP) has also appointed one board member.

The head of BRT, Ozer Kanli, an UBP supporter, posted a long statement on his Facebook profile on Wednesday accusing Akinci of having wasted five years of the Turkish Cypriot community chasing a fantasy federal solution and being played by Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades.

Tatar and Ozersay are among the candidates for the upcoming elections for the new Turkish Cypriot leader along with Akinci, head of main opposition Republican Turkish Party (CTP) Tufan Erhurman and leader of Rebirth Party Erhan Arikli.


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