Greek Cypriots uneasy on Turkish reciprocity of indirect quartet meetings
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Turkish Cypriot Foreign Minister Özdil Nami speaking at a meeting with the Diplomacy Correspondents’ Association in Ankara. AA photoGreek Cypriots are annoyed by the idea of equal status representation of Turkish Cypriots at a planned meeting in Athens, according to Turkish Cypriot officials.
The indirect quartet meetings, which aimed at contributing to efforts for a political solution on the island, caused concern for Greek Cypriots over the reciprocity decision. Greek Cypriots sought direct interaction with Ankara for years with their demand turning into a form of reciprocal meetings in each guarantor countries’ capitals.
“Greek Cypriots have been willing to visit Ankara and have direct talks with Turkish officials for a long time. We offered to do it together, but the planned visits have not been shaped in accordance with their will. Since the representative of Turkish Cyprus will visit Athens too, they received the idea that they had made a mistake,” Turkish Cypriot Foreign Minister Özdil Nami said yesterday at a meeting with the Diplomacy Correspondents’ Association (DMD).
Turkish and Greek foreign ministers recently agreed on “indirect quartet meetings” for Greek Cypriot representatives in Ankara and Turkish Cypriot representatives in Athens.
The plan includes meetings in each capital in “equal status and equal timing”, which derived unease for Greek Cypriots over the assumption of the promotion of “the status of Turkish Cyprus.”
Even the passports, which the Turkish Cypriot representative will use during his travel to Athens, and the country from which his plane will depart, have become a concern for the Greek Cypriot side.
Nami said that he hoped these debates would not hamper the initiative and new round of talks.
“I hope they will not step back,” the minister said. The process to find a solution has been prolonged due to similar issues, and parties usually get stuck on these nuances, he noted.
Turkish Cypriots use their own passports for foreign visits, or carry a separate document if the country does not accept the Turkish Cypriot passport, Nami said, adding that they would not concern themselves with these details.
“A crucial psychological threshold would be crossed with these visits. Let’s not get stuck on the details and look at the essence of our work,” he stated.
Undersecretaries of Turkish Cyprus Foreign Ministry will hold talks in the last week of October, while their Greek Cypriot counterparts will be holding talks in Ankara on the same day.