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Tatar calls ‘critical meeting’ over Turkish Cypriot lawyer

akan kursat
Akan Kursat

Turkish Cypriot Leader Ersin Tatar on Tuesday called a critical meeting regarding lawyer Akan Kursat who is currently being held in custody in Italy, according to reports.

Reports of the meeting surfaced in Kibris Postasi on Tuesday, with the website saying the meeting had been attended by the north’s chief public prosecutor Sarper Altincik, Turkish Ambassador in Nicosia Metin Feyzioglu and opposition CTP party leader Tufan Erhurman.

Kursat was arrested in Rome on New Year’s Eve after Italian police acted on an outstanding European arrest warrant, which had been issued in relation to his alleged role in the sale of Greek Cypriot properties in the north.

It is believed that the warrant had been put out against Kursat by the Republic of Cyprus in 2007. It emerged last week that Cyprus has ten days to submit the relevant documents for Kursat’s extradition back to the island, which are set to expire on Sunday.

Kursat is married to Fazilet Ozdenefe, the north’s ‘deputy parliament speaker’, who belongs to opposition party CTP.

Erhurman had said in ‘parliament’ on Monday that the Greek Cypriot side is using the case to “create conditions of concern”.

He elaborated that Kursat’s arrest is a “political” work, but said “for both political and legal reasons, it would not be right to sell goods to third country nationals under circumstances.”

He also made reference to the conflicting reports of how Kursat managed to arrive in Italy while there was a European warrant out for his arrest.

Some reports have suggested that Kursat flew to Italy directly from Larnaca after crossing from the north to the Republic, while others said he had travelled from the north’s Ercan (Tymbou) airport.

“We do not have clear information about how [Kursat] was arrested in Italy and not on the Greek Cypriot side,” he said, adding that Kursat is due to appear in court on January 16, and that “we will then have clearer information.”

He also criticised the north’s ‘government’s’ “careless attitude and unpredictability” regarding the sale of property to third country nationals.

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