*A hotel in Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus said it will sue Jennifer Lopez for $40 million after she cancelled a concert there for “political” reasons, press reports said Sunday.
According to AFP, the chief executive of the Turkish company which operates the hotel and casino venue says Lopez still has time to change her mind about the July 24 gig.
“The contract has not been terminated. If she does not show up for the concert, we will begin a procedure in the courts to claim 35-40 million dollars in damages,” warned Murat Bozoglu, speaking from the company’s headquarters in Istanbul.
“The cancellation….is not covered by any clause in the contract she signed with us,” said Bozoglu.
Lopez angered Greek-Cypriots in the southern half of the divided island after the new Cratos Premium hotel and casino complex announced she would perform there on her 41st birthday.
The entertainer decided to pull out amid criticism that the appearance would make a political statement, TMZ.com reported Thursday.
“Jennifer Lopez would never knowingly support any state, country, institution or regime that was associated with any form of human rights abuse,” the singer’s rep told TMZ.
“After a full review of the relevant circumstances in Cyprus, it was the decision of management to withdraw from the appearance. This was a team decision that reflects our sensitivity to the political realities of the region.”
The US-based American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association claimed the concert would “lend credence to an illegal entity recognized only by Turkey.”
Cyprus has been divided since Turkey occupied the north in 1974 in response to an Athens-engineered coup in Nicosia aimed at uniting the Mediterranean island with Greece.
The TRNC (Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus) is only recognized by Turkey, which maintains troops on the Turkish Cypriot side, while the Greek Cypriot south of the island enjoys international recognition.