Turkish opposition seeks end to ‘Enosis’ plans

Cyprus reunification talks should not resume unless a controversial decision by the Greek Cyprus parliament to back Enosis (Union) celebrations is dropped, Turkey's main opposition party said on Wednesday.

Speaking at a news conference in the Turkish parliament, the Republican People's Party (CHP) deputy leader Ozturk Yilmaz said the main reason for a halt in the Cyprus talks was the decision to introduce annual celebrations to mark a 1950 referendum calling for the island to be annexed to Greece.

The move has seen peace talks on the island come to a halt.

The eastern Mediterranean island was divided into a Turkish Cypriot state in the north and a Greek Cypriot administration in the south after an Enosis-inspired 1974 military coup was followed by violence against the island's Turkish population, and the subsequent intervention of Turkey as a guarantor power.

Cyprus remains unsolved despite a series of discussions which resumed in May 2015.

KRG flag criticism

Criticizing the flying of flags belonging to Iraq's Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) at airports in Ankara and Istanbul during KRG President Masoud Barzani's recent visit to Turkey, Yilmaz described the move as a message to conservative Kurdish voters in Turkey.

Barzani is invited to Turkey before every election to collect conservative Kurdish voters, he said.

Turkey is currently facing a referendum on major constitutional changes, scheduled to take place in April. The ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) are both calling for a Yes vote in the poll, while the CHP and the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) want a No vote.

Syria

When asked by reporters about Turkey's Iraq and Syria policy, Yilmaz said the CHP could not understand Ankara's strategy in the two troubled countries.

"Turkey's intervention in Raqqa is not correct, Yilmaz said adding that the holder of Manbij is the U.S., PYD is just a proxy. You cannot solve any troubles with proxies.

Yesterday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the Turkey-backed Free Syrian Army would go on to take Syria's Manbij and Raqqa areas, and called for the terrorist PYD/YPG group to pull out of majority-Arab Manbij.

Raqqa has been described as the so-called capital of the Daesh terror network.

Reporting by Alp Ozden:Writing by Sibel Ugurlu

Source: Anadolu Agency