Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar called a meeting to discuss the Cyprus problem and the recent reman of Turkish-Israeli businessman Simon Mistriel Aykut, in custody for developing on Greek Cypriot property worth €43 million.

The meeting also focused on the appointment of UN Secretary-General personal envoy Maria Holguin.

According to a report in Kibris Postasi, the meeting attendees, including ‘prime minister’ Unal Ustel and ‘foreign minister’ Tahsin Ertugruloglu, “The Greek Cypriot side has been exercising pressure, and conducting blackmail and isolationist policies target people.”  

Earlier, head of the Turkish Cypriot construction workers Cafer Gurcafer said Cyprus is attacking the economy of the north in its decision to keep businessman Simon Mistriel Aykut in custody.

In statements to Turkish Cypriot newspaper Halkın Sesi, Gurcafer called on the north’s ‘government’ to take action so as to help him.

Aykut, 73 and a holder of Israeli, Turkish and Portuguese passports, is suspected of developing properties worth €43 million in the north on Greek Cypriot land. He faces 124 charges which will be heard in a criminal court in the Republic in September.

“What are we doing about this? Nothing. As far as I can see, we’re looking at the sky and waiting for the problem to solve itself,” Gurcafer was quoted as saying.

He added Aykut has been a national of the ‘TRNC’ for 30 years and action should be taken from the north’s ‘foreign ministry’ to help him.

Turkish Cypriot opposition party CTP leader Tufan Erhurman highlighted that his ‘party’ had warned over the uncontrolled construction and property sales to foreign nationals which were not in line with international law and would cause problems.

Now, a businessman is facing court proceedings in Cyprus which “is using it as a tool for political reasons,” he added.

Aykut is the founder of Afik Group, which has been developing properties in Trikomo, Akanthou, Ayios Amvrosios, Gastria, and Kyrenia.

He will be held in custody until September.

Two other individuals are still wanted in the case: Aykut’s sons, 51-year-old Afik Yaacov and 49-year-old Michael Mistriel Aykut, both directors of the group. Like their father, they hold Israeli and Portuguese passports.