Greek Cypriots were insincere from the outset of peace talks: Turkish PM
ANKARAFrom the beginning of negotiations Greek Cyprus has never been willing to secure a genuine peace between two equal partners, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım has said, stressing the need to provide security and guarantees for both communities on the island.
“In my opinion, the Greek Cypriots were never sincere from the beginning. They regard the Turkish Cypriots as a minority. How will you establish a bi-communal, equal and fair government if you regard one part as a minority?” Yıldırım told daily Hürriyet on his return from a one-day trip to Turkish Cyprus on March 9.
It will not be possible to have an improvement in talks between the two communities if there is no serious prospect for a lasting peace, he said, emphasizing that any agreement should be “fair, equal and bring about a federal government” that would provide guarantees to both people.
The Turkish and Greek Cypriots have been negotiating for around two years to find a breakthrough to the nearly five-decade old dispute under the auspices of the United Nations. However, talks have been hampered since the Greek Cypriot parliament decided to commemorate the 1950 Enosis referendum which called for the merging of the East Mediterranean island with Greece.
“You hold talks about everything but right after that they legislate for the commemoration of Enosis every year on Feb. 10. That destroys everything that has been said [during the talks]. That is why we say there cannot be an improvement in talks if there is no more serious perspective to make a new beginning,” Yıldırım said.
He also argued against “agreement at all costs,” stressing that the failure of talks “will not be the end of the world” for either Turkey or the Turkish Cypriots and the current de facto situation would continue.