An opposition leader in Turkey said Wednesday that her party would stand with Turkish Cypriots with all their means.

“In every square centimeter of [Turkish Republic of] Northern Cyprus’ territory, the right of voice and authority belongs to the Turkish Cypriots,” Meral Aksener, the chairwoman of the Good (IYI) Party, told her group’s lawmakers in the capital Ankara.

“We believe the happy day will come when the world recognizes the reality of Turkish Cypriots,” Aksener said, adding that “Cyprus is Turkish and will remain Turkish.”

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when a Greek Cypriot coup was followed by violence against the island’s Turks and Ankara’s intervention as a guarantor power.

It has seen an on-and-off peace process in recent years, including a failed 2017 initiative in Switzerland under the auspices of guarantor countries Turkey, Greece, and the UK.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently suggested a two-state solution to end the lingering dispute on the island.


The IYI Party leader also called on authorities to take tougher measures against the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Arguing that the outbreak in Turkey is out of control, Aksener noted that conditions were especially bad in the province of Istanbul.

She called for a nationwide curfew of 14 days to stem the virus.

Turkey will impose partial weekend curfews to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus starting Friday.

The curfews will be effective on weekends, but movement will be allowed between 10.00 a.m. to 8.00 p.m. so as not to disrupt supply and production chains.

A partial curfew already in place for people over the age of 65 has also been expanded to include those under 20, with the exception of employees who must go to their workplaces, who can step outside their homes from 10.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. throughout the week.

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