‘Turkey may share water with Cyprus’
NICOSIA/ANKARA - Anatolia News Agency
CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu shakes hands with a Cypriot veteran in Nicosia.REUTERS photo
Turkey is ready to share water with all of Cyprus in the event of a solution to the island’s division, Turkey’s deputy prime minister said yesterday.
A link providing Turkish water to Turkish Cyprus will be ready by 2014, Deputy Prime Minister Beşir Atalay said, adding that that water would suffice the entire island.
“We are ready to share the water with the entire island if a settlement is found in ongoing Cyprus negotiations,” Atalay said in Nicosia, where he went to attend the ceremonies marking the 28th anniversary of Turkish Cyprus’ foundation.
Turkey supports an equal, bi-communal federal structure in Cyprus, Atalay said, adding that Turkey and Turkish Cyprus had exerted necessary efforts for a settlement.
The deputy leader also said Turkey saw January’s scheduled trilateral summit among the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot leaders, as well as the United Nations secretary-general, as a test.
“Turkey will continue to stand by Turkish Cyprus in its efforts to get economically and democratically strong whether there is a settlement or not,” Atalay said.
On Nov. 15, 1983, the Turkish Cypriot Federal Assembly unanimously voted to proclaim the independence of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Turkey is the only country that recognizes de facto state’s independence.
Turkish EU Minister Egemen Bağış also released a message to mark the 28th anniversary of northern Cyprus’ foundation while taking aim at the European Union, saying the bloc became one of those responsible for the deadlock on the issue by awarding the Greek Cypriot administration, which has not exerted any effort to find a solution to the country’s division, with EU membership in 2004.
“We showed the world who is in favor of a solution and who is against it. Turkish Cyprus and Turkey were and have always been in favor of a solution,” he said.
Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot President Derviş Eroğlu received dignitaries including high-level Turkish Cypriot officials, Atalay, Turkish Parliamentary Administrative head Salim Uslu, Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, Turkish Air Force Cmdr. Gen. Mehmet Erten, Democratic Left Party (DSP) deputy chairman Dursun Ertürk, Democrat Party (DP) leader Namık Kemal Zeybek and veterans of the Turkish Peace Operation of 1974.
A special ceremony was held at the Nicosia Atatürk Monument during which officials placed wreaths. Participants also sang the Turkish national anthem at the event.