A man of Kurdish origins who has been arrested by Turkish Cypriot police in the north is accused of being a member of a terrorist organization.
According to Turkish Cypriot media, Mehmet Akgul was detained after crossing into the north from the Republic of Cyprus in the south. The charges against him were understood to be related to membership in a terrorist group.
Akgul was reportedly in the south last month where he took part in a demonstration in Limassol to protest the Turkish military campaign in northern Syria.
Akgul reportedly attended a demonstration in Limassol to protest the Turkish military campaign in northern Syria
A Turkish Cypriot judge ordered Akgul to be remanded in custody for three days, after police prosecutors alleged that the Kurdish man was a member of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) in northern Syria.
The United States removed PYD from a terror watch list in 2018, omitting previous references to Turkish views that Syria-based PYD/YPG was an extension of the PKK militant group, which remained on the list of terrorist organizations.
Last month, Turkey and the US worked out a conditional cease fire in northern Syria in order to allow YPG to withdraw its fighters and weapons from what Turkey hopes to use as a safe zone, south of its border.
The military incursion dubbed “Operation Peace Spring” by the Turks was heavily criticized by EU officials, who urged Turkey to end its military action, withdraw its forces, and respect international humanitarian law.
Ankara has dismissed criticism, saying the creation of a safe zone extending 32 km into northeast Syria was meant to ensure the return of millions of Syrian refugees and clear the area of Kurdish militia.