Parties from across the north’s political spectrum roundly condemned the lifeguard who had said earlier in the week he had banned Pakistanis and “blacks” from the beach at which he works in Famagusta. 

The lifeguard, 28-year-old Hasan Kirmizi, who goes by the nickname “Gocco”, had uploaded a series of posts to Facebook, in which he had first said Pakistani nationals are banned from entering the beach” and “blacks are banned from entering” and then made various attempts to defend his statements. 

However, political parties were united in their disdain for his statements, with ruling coalition party UBP secretary-general Oguzhan Hasipoglu describing them as “unacceptable”. 

“Such expressions of hate speech are prohibited in the TRNC, and they contravene people’s human rights,” he said, calling on the Turkish Cypriot Famagusta Municipality to take the appropriate action against Kirmizi. 

In addition, he said the municipality must take action to ensure people’s safety at the beach and other beaches in the area. 

The municipality has a duty to ensure that everyone has a peaceful time at the beaches they go to,” he said. 

Kirmizi is a member of the UBP and had been pictured with Hasipoglu and other high-ranking members of the party as recently as Monday. The party has not yet made a statement on whether or not Kirmizi’s membership has been terminated, though Hasipoglu’s reaction to his statements likely speaks for itself. 

Meanwhile, opposition party CTP leader Tufan Erhurman described Kirmizi’s comments as “inhumane” and said the ground has been laid in the north for racism and xenophobia to flourish. 

 He said the “uncontrolled and unplanned flow” of third country nationals moving to the north has created resentment and warned that if steps are not taken to reduce these flows, the north’s racism problem will “grow quickly”. 

He added that there is “no room for a new Elam, or for racist thoughts or xenophobia on this island”. 

Ruling coalition party DP leader Fikri Ataoglu also called for attention to be paid to the language people use, while coalition partner YDP leader Erhan Arikli said Kirmizi’s statements “should lead us to question ourselves as a society”. 

“Racism has no place in our culture or religion. We do not have such a culture and religion. Those who have racist thoughts are culturally degenerate,” he said.