Evrim Hincal, the financial secretary of Turkish Cypriot opposition party the TDP, was refused entry to Turkey on Wednesday.

Hincal had travelled to the country alongside Turkish Cypriot Nicosia Mayor Mehmet Harmanci for a joint family holiday, but upon arrival at Istanbul’s Sabiha Gokcen airport, he was told he would not be able to enter the country as his name is on Turkey’s N-82 list.

While being named on the N-82 list does not mean a person is outright banned from Turkey, those on the list must apply in advance to the Turkish embassy in their country for pre-clearance to enter the country, and the list is not publicly available, so those on it generally do not find out until they arrive in Turkey.

Hincal said that after having been turned away from passport control, he attempted to “reach the relevant people” and called the north’s authorities for help but was eventually sent back to Cyprus alongside his wife and his four-year-old daughter six hours after landing.

In a social media post on Wednesday night, he asked, “what is N-82? Why am I banned? When I asked, the staff there told me ‘we cannot give you an explanation’ and that I needed to apply to the consulate in my own country.”

He added, “I have had different friends who have experienced these problems when entering the Republic of Turkey for a long time … We have seen and experienced once again that this troublesome situation now stands before us as a problem which needs to be solved.

“The right to travel is a human right, for everyone living on this planet, and for that reason I will call my lawyer and initiate the necessary legal proceedings.”

He went on to say that while the airport staff’s behaviour towards him and his family was “very good”, his daughter became very upset when she realised that he would be made to stay in a separate room in the airport until his flight was boarding.

“One of the most difficult parts of the day was my child’s presence in that moment, and the memory she will have of it,” he said.

He added, “in this process, I owe an apology to my daughter.” He said he had managed to “get her on the plane”, flying for the first time since she was born a month before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, but that “she was deprived of the excitement of what she would see in another country because of me.

For this reason, I apologised to my youngest friend, my daughter. I will show you around, many beautiful countries which we will enter without any problems waiting for us.”

Mehmet Harmanci was furious at the situation, saying “unfortunately, what happened to many democratic Turkish Cypriots also happened to my dear friend Evrim today.”

What did he do, take a gun and go to the mountains? Has he performed illegal activities which could be a threat to Turkey? I could ask many more questions which could go on and have no validity,” he added.

However, he said, “I know the answer. The only reason he was banned from entering the country is the fact he worked with Mustafa Akinci,” the left wing pro-federal solution former Turkish Cypriot leader, who served between 2015 and 2020.

Turning his guns to the current Turkish Cypriot leadership, he asked, “what are those who govern our country doing?”

He added, “this is the extent of the relationship which citizens of their own country can have with the only country which officially recognises them, what a shame.”

Shame on you, we will not be silent and we will fight until this injustice ends. We will not accept that those who steal, defraud, falsify, and receive fake diplomas get to be described as patriots and we get banned from countries,” he said.

TDP leader Zeki Celer said he will hold a meeting with the competent authorities in Turkey about the matter, and that he will “take every necessary step to bring the matter to an end.”

He added that the north’s ‘authorities’ “did not take any steps” in previous incidences of Turkish Cypriots being placed on the N-82 list, but that his party “will not allow this issue to be forgotten again.”