Citizens and ‘officials’ in the north were in uproar on Thursday, after ‘foreign minister’ Tahsin Ertuğruloğlu said whoever wasn’t happy with the ‘government’s’ handling of the earthquake by rejecting help from Cyprus, should just change country.

Head of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) Tufan Erhurman said the ‘minister’ spoke as if he was the owner of the country, reflecting a tone and attitude that no longer belong in the current era.

Communal Democracy Party (TDP) leader Mine Atlı said “We are not going anywhere Tahsin” adding that “Tahsin and his kin cannot share their country while sharing a bowl of soup in a tent.”

“We will continue to produce, develop live and want everyone to live as well as we do. To love and be self-sufficient. We are here. In the face of your stubbornness, we will remain united.”

Ertuğruloğlu’s statements a day earlier which sparked the uproar stem over the controversy surrounding the help Cyprus wanted to send Turkey for the earthquake operations. Though a team had been ready to fly to Turkey, it was subsequently grounded by Ankara.

The north had accused Greek Cypriots of trying to score political points and taking advantage of the tragedy in Turkey.

Ertuğruloğlu’s contentious post said “This country is ours, it is the country of those who offer services to the Turkish nations. Those who are trying to give up the country to Greek Cypriots can go to another country where they will be happier. We’re not forcing them to stay here.”

He also said the north’s reaction over the help offered from Cyprus had been twisted by the media to deliberately make it look like Turkey accepted the help and it was his fault it had not happened.

Following the uproar, Ertuğruloğlu reverted back and said “leave it. Let everything change. Let us stay the same. Let us not change. Let us be alone, even if we are wrong. But let us always stand tall.”