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Kasselakis under fire for calling Turkish-occupied entity on Cyprus “their statelet”

SYRIZA leadership race frontrunner Stefanos Kasselakis has come under fire for calling the Turkish-occupied northern part of Cyprus “their statelet.”

He used the controversial term when speaking to the media in the western Attica town of Egaleo after a political event late on Thursday.

When prompted by a journalist, he quickly corrected himself to describe the entity as a “pseudo-state.”

Kasselakis, the frontrunner in Sunday’s leadership run-off election, had used the original term when criticizing Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis for not responding to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s recent call at the UN General Assembly on the international “to recognize the TRNC’s [sic] sovereignty and establish diplomatic, political, and economic ties with this country.”

“It is unacceptable that Mr Mitsotakis did not respond to Erdogan’s invitation to recognize the second half, the north.. part, of their statelet, the north, in Cyprus,” he said.

Aπαράδεκτος είσαι εσύ @skasselakis που λες τα κατεχόμενα της Κύπρου δεύτερο μισό της Κύπρου,το βόρειο κομμάτι,του κρατιδίου,της Βορείου Κύπρου και οτιδήποτε άλλο.Η περιοχή εθνοκαθαρίστηκε από τον Αττίλα.ΒΟΥΛΩΣΕ ΤΟ ΣΤΟΜΑ σου αφού δεν ξέρεις που σου πάνε τα τέσσερα! #ΚΑΣΣΕΛΑΚΗΣ

— Kωστας Τσεκαιος (@CimbrianMarius) September 21, 2023

His rival for the leadership spot, Effie Ahtsioglou, later described Kasselakis’ terminology as “a very serious error; a mistake that reveals ignorance about one of the most critical issues of our foreign policy. And this should concern us.”

Δε θα με δείτε ποτέ να κρύβομαι.

Υπάρχουν φορές που ψάχνω να βρω μια λέξη στα ελληνικά.

Χθες, μέσα στην κούραση και αϋπνία της περιοδείας, αυτό έπαθα.

Ας μην ανησυχεί κανείς.

Μαθαίνω τις λέξεις πολύ γρήγορα. Είναι θέμα δύο μηνών εξάσκησης.

Το πρόβλημα είναι ότι ο κύριος…

— Stefanos Kasselakis – Στέφανος Κασσελάκης (@skasselakis) September 22, 2023

In a social media post published early Friday morning, 35-year-old Stefanos Kasselakis (or Captain America!) blamed his use of the term “their statelet” to the “fatigue and sleeplessness of the campaign trail” and to the fact that he only recently moved back to Greece from the United States after moving there at the age of 14.

“There are times when I have to search to find a word in Greek,” he said adding that he would need two months of training in …Greek.

PS Languages are not just a box where you pick some words from, it’s culture and history. It’s elementary, Watson!

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