On July 31, 2018, the director and editor-in-chief of Afrika, an independent political newspaper in Northern Cyprus, were surprised by a knock on the door from Northern Cypriot police, asking them to respond to a case filed against the paper by Turkish prosecutors in Ankara.

Editor-in-Chief Şener Levent and the Director Ali Osman Tabak are facing defamation charges in two separate cases in Turkey, while further charges of “defaming a foreign politician” have been filed in Northern Cyprus. The accusations are based on two articles, both authored by Levent and published on January 21 and February 1 of this year, that harshly criticized Turkey’s politics and the country’s influence over Northern Cyprus. The January 21 article referred to Turkey’s military operation in Afrin, Syria as a “second invasion”, referring to Turkey’s incursion into Cyprus in 1974 as the “first”.