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J. Lo cancels KKTC gig under Greek Cypriot pressure July 11, 2010

Posted by Yilan in Cyprus, KKTC.
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Jennifer Lopez and her husband, Marc Anthony. Jennifer Lopez and her husband, Marc Anthony.

Latin pop star Jennifer Lopez has canceled a planned performance in northern Cyprus after whipping up a storm of angry protests from thousands of Greek Cypriots.

Lopez’s gig at a luxury hotel had triggered protests among Greeks, who accused her of according legitimacy to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC), which does not have international recognition and has been barred from interaction with rest of the world for decades. The Greek Cypriots hailed Lopez’s turnabout as “a victory” while the Turkish Cypriots called it the success of a Greek Cypriot campaign to keep them isolated.

Reports that Lopez would perform at a luxury hotel in the north on her 41st birthday later this month triggered a Greek Cypriot online campaign pushing for the event’s cancellation. The campaign paid off after Lopez announced her withdrawal with a snub to Turkey. “Jennifer Lopez would never knowingly support any state, country, institution or regime that was associated with any form of human rights abuse,” a statement on her website said.

The official statement said after a full review of the relevant circumstances in the ethnically split island, it was the decision of the Latina star’s advisors to cancel the appearance. “This was a team decision that reflects our sensitivity to the political realities of the region,” it said.

Lopez was reportedly to be paid $3 million by organizers for her one-off performance. Lopez, her husband singer Marc Anthony and their twin children were due to stay at the swanky newly built $220 million Cratos Premium Hotel in KKTC. She was slated to perform there on July 24.

Murat Bozoğlu, a director of the hotel, had earlier said that the Premium Gala night would be broadcast live to 193 countries in the world by Fashion TV and that this significant tourism event was not only important for the promotion of Turkish Cyprus but also for the whole island.

Organizers of the event had this week acknowledged Lopez’s publicists were getting thousands of letters of protest, but that the show would go on. A Facebook site against the concert attracted almost 20,000 members within a week.

Cyprus was split after a Turkish intervention that followed a Greek Cypriot coup engineered by the military junta ruling Greece in 1974. The internationally recognized Greek Cypriot government, which runs the southern part of Cyprus, accuses Turkey of holding Greek Cypriot land under occupation.

Turkish Cypriots in the north, on the other hand, accuse the Greek Cypriots of persistently blocking efforts to lift their international isolation even after they voted for a plan to reunite the island in 2004, a plan rejected by the Greek Cypriots.

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