Turkish Cypriot media and opposition on Thursday saw Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay’s statements about the Islamic Kulliye project as threatening and an intervention into their culture.
According to local media, under heavy security, Oktay visited the construction on Wednesday, where local media were barred from entering, and only Turkish media were allowed, reports in newspaper Yeni Duzen said, according to the translation done by the PIO.
The director of the paper Cenk Mutluyakali questioned who the armed guards were protecting Oktay from during his visit.
On Oktay’s statements that the ‘TRNC’ and Turkey will stand against any opposition to the project, Mutluyakali said that Ankara’s Vice President is threatening the Turkish Cypriots openly.
“He [Oktay] justifiably speaks on behalf of the state of the TRNC! He says that a stamp will be put in. As we look on, we will be reminded that substantial and de facto control over the northern part of the island belongs to Turkey,” the director said.
In their comment on the visit, Turkish Cypriot newspaper Avrupa said: “The inspection of the construction of this complex by Oktay gave a very clear message: the owner came to check his property.”
Diyalog said that Oktay’s message was “very harsh” on their front page.
Meanwhile, main opposition party in the north CTP released a statement reacting to Oktay’s quote that Ankara and the ‘government’ in the north will stand against any opposition to the Kulliye project.
They said: “On this occasion, we declare that we say no to the new building complex under construction, which was promoted not taking into account the will of Turkish Cypriot people, and we want to inform the public that those who do not consider the will of the Turkish Cypriot people, will find the CTP in front of them.”
On Wednesday, Oktay also said that the project would be a symbol of “existence, sovereignty, and independence” for the Turkish Cypriots.
The complex will include a “presidential palace” for the Turkish Cypriot leader, a “parliament building” for the Turkish Cypriot assembly, a mosque and a recreational park, and will cost around 2.5 billion Turkish lira (140 million euros). The project will be fully financed by Turkey.