Europe

Turkish Cypriot leader walks of out peace talks meeting

  • A young woman pulls her travel case as she walks by the barrels that blocked a road from the Greek Cypriot controlled area, to the Turkish Cypriot  north, wld in the divided capital Nicosia in the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus, on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017. The leader of ethnically divided Cyprus' breakaway Turkish Cypriots has walked out of a meeting with the Greek Cypriot president amid ongoing reunification talks. It's unclear why Mustafa Akinci left Thursday's meeting with Nicos Anastasiades and what this means to the months-long peace process. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

    A young woman pulls her travel case as she walks by the barrels that blocked a road from the Greek Cypriot controlled area, to the Turkish Cypriot north, wld in the divided capital Nicosia in the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus, on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017. The leader of ethnically divided Cyprus' breakaway Turkish Cypriots has walked out of a meeting with the Greek Cypriot president amid ongoing reunification talks. It's unclear why Mustafa Akinci left Thursday's meeting with Nicos Anastasiades and what this means to the months-long peace process. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)  (The Associated Press)

  • A man with a child and another man stands behind of a fence as the stand in the Turkish Cypriot part look to the south in the Greek Cypriot controlled part in the divided capital Nicosia in the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus, on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017. The leader of ethnically divided Cyprus' breakaway Turkish Cypriots has walked out of a meeting with the Greek Cypriot president amid ongoing reunification talks. It's unclear why Mustafa Akinci left Thursday's meeting with Nicos Anastasiades and what this means to the months-long peace process. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

    A man with a child and another man stands behind of a fence as the stand in the Turkish Cypriot part look to the south in the Greek Cypriot controlled part in the divided capital Nicosia in the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus, on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017. The leader of ethnically divided Cyprus' breakaway Turkish Cypriots has walked out of a meeting with the Greek Cypriot president amid ongoing reunification talks. It's unclear why Mustafa Akinci left Thursday's meeting with Nicos Anastasiades and what this means to the months-long peace process. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)  (The Associated Press)

  • A man with a child, right, and another man, left, walk behind of a fence in the Turkish Cypriot  northern part of Nicosia along the UN buffer zone that divides the Geek and Turkish Cypriots controlled areas in the divided capital of  the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus, on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017. The leader of ethnically divided Cyprus' breakaway Turkish Cypriots has walked out of a meeting with the Greek Cypriot president amid ongoing reunification talks. It's unclear why Mustafa Akinci left Thursday's meeting with Nicos Anastasiades and what this means to the months-long peace process. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

    A man with a child, right, and another man, left, walk behind of a fence in the Turkish Cypriot northern part of Nicosia along the UN buffer zone that divides the Geek and Turkish Cypriots controlled areas in the divided capital of the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus, on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017. The leader of ethnically divided Cyprus' breakaway Turkish Cypriots has walked out of a meeting with the Greek Cypriot president amid ongoing reunification talks. It's unclear why Mustafa Akinci left Thursday's meeting with Nicos Anastasiades and what this means to the months-long peace process. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)  (The Associated Press)

The leader of ethnically divided Cyprus' breakaway Turkish Cypriots has walked out of a meeting with the Greek Cypriot president amid ongoing reunification talks.

It's unclear why Mustafa Akinci left Thursday's meeting with Nicos Anastasiades and what this means to the months-long peace process.

Tensions have been high this week following strong Turkish Cypriot protests against the annual commemoration in Greek Cypriot schools of a 1950 vote for union with Greece.

Akinci decried new legislation making the commemoration compulsory and warned that it threatened peace talks.

Anastasiades countered that a "mere historical reference" in no way detracts from the goal of reunifying the island as a federation.

Cyprus was split in 1974 when Turkey invaded after a coup by supporters of union with Greece.