Ball is now in Greek Cypriots’ court for solution, Turkish FM says
Turkish foreign minister believes that a negotiated solution to the Cyprus issue is possible based on the compromise of both sides, saying the Turkish Cypriots showed their willingness for reconciliation, “now the ball is in the Greek Cypriot side’s court.”
“The main reason for not finding a solution to Cyprus issue is the lack of political will on the Greek Cypriot side,” Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu told the Greek daily Phileleftheros on May 21, referring to the solution initiatives refused by the Greek Cypriot side, Anadolu Agency reported on May 22.
“The Macmillan Plan in 1958, Acheson Plan in 1964, two-party regulation in 1975, Perez de Cuellar indicators in 1983, Boutros-Ghali’s initiative in 1992, Annan Plan in 2004 were just a few of them.”
“As a result, it has been the Greek Cypriots, not the Turkish Cypriots or Turkey, who have rejected countless U.N.-mandated attempts for decades, including the Annan Plan. What prevents the Greek Cypriots from seeing the Turkish Cypriots as equal political partners? Isn’t it important to reach an applicable and sustainable solution?” Çavuşoğlu said.
“We, as Turkey, will certainly continue to give full support to the solution process,” he added.
Çavuşoğlu accused the Greek Cypriot side of “constantly misinterpreting the situation.”
“A negotiated solution will be based on the compromise of both sides. The Turkish Cypriots [already] showed their willingness towards reconciliation. Now the ball is definitely in the Greek Cypriot side’s court,” the foreign mnister said.
Asked about Turkey’s military presence on the island as a guarantor country, Çavuşoğlu said there was a reason for keeping Turkish forces on the island, “otherwise, there might be many problems in the long run.”
“In 1963-1974, Greek Cypriots [caused] the 1960 Partnership State to collapse, initiated ethnic cleansing activities against the Turkish Cypriots and tried to enforce Enosis,” he said stressing that the bloodshed on the island came to an end after Turkish intervention.
“The development that brought democracy back to Greek Cypriot [side] was also Turkey’s intervention.”
Cyprus was divided into a Turkish Cypriot state in the north and a Greek Cypriot administration in the south after an Enosis (Union)-inspired 1974 coup was followed by Turkey’s military intervention as a guarantor power.
The reunification talks -- brokered by the UN -- were launched in May 2015 to discuss a permanent settlement for the divided Mediterranean island.
The status of the island remains unresolved in spite of a series of discussions that resumed in May 2015.
Despite the disputed status, the Greek Cypriot administration continued to unilaterally open new tenders for hydrocarbon explorations without any collaboration with Turkish Cypriots.