Did North Cyprus Afrika Newspaper Cause the Collapse of the TRNC Government?

Did North Cyprus Afrika Newspaper Cause the Collapse of the TRNC GovernmentThe North Cyprus newspaper Afrika (16.05.19) reports that the District Court in Lefkosa is expected to announce today its decision on the lawsuit against the newspaper for publishing a caricature on 2 December 2017, which was considered an insult to Turkish President Erdogan and an effort to harm the relations between Turkey and the TRNC. The lawsuit was filed after a complaint made by the then Turkish Ambassador, Derya Kanbay.

The Editor, Sener Levent, recalls that the then Turkish Deputy Prime Minister responsible for Cypriot Affairs, Recep Aktag, had stated that he would personally do whatever he could to make sure that Afrika was convicted. He stated that Turkey’s President Erdogan wanted to close down Afrika and its journalists punished, as they do in Turkey.

“[…] They say that this is the reason why it cut the money to the TRNC government. This is the reason for which its relations with Mustafa Akinci are so damaged. Because they did not punish us. Erdogan thinks that this could be done with a signal by the government. Just like in Turkey. In fact, Serdar Denktas admitted this during a sincere conversation with a trade unionist. The trade unionist asked: ‘Why has Turkey cut the money to you?’ Denktas said: ‘Because we did not punish Afrika newspaper’. Metin Munir, journalist for many years, also wrote it the day before yesterday: ‘The relations between Erdogan and Akinci have since a long time been cold. Erdogan, who does not know that the judiciary is independent in Cyprus, is offended with Akinci because he did not put in prison a journalist with the allegation that he had insulted him’.

Many people do not even know that the government in the north collapsed for this reason. […]”

Well there you go, a caricature brought down the North Cyprus government, proving yet again that the pen is mightier than the sword. No wonder President Erdogan wants newspapers closed down and journalists imprisoned.

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