Erdoğan congratulates new president of Turkish Cyprus, warns against ‘solution at any price’
DHA PhotoTurkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan sent a congratulatory message to Mustafa Akıncı, the winner of the Turkish Cyprus presidential election, prompting renewed optimism for reunification of the island. In his message, Erdoğan indirectly urged the leftist former mayor that “it was not possible to run after a solution to the Cyprus question at any price.”
Erdoğan underlined Akıncı’s presidency corresponds to a critical period with regard to the Cyprus problem, referring to reunification talks, which are about to resume soon.
“A fair and lasting solution will remain our priority in the process of negotiations, which are expected to resume after a while in the framework of the U.N. Secretary General’s food offices mission. However, it is not possible to adopt an approach of running after a solution to the Cyprus question at any price,” Erdoğan said, noting that Greek Cypriots’ “delusion of having possession of the island” underlies the Cyprus problem.
Erdoğan expressed his credence that Akıncı would pursue the “determination, notion and resolution which has brought the Turkish Cypriots to these days.”
Akıncı, standing as an independent, won 60.3 percent of the votes, according to figures provided by the election commission for the presidential election run-off in Turkish Cyprus on April 26. His rival was incumbent president Derviş Eroğlu, a conservative elected five years ago. Eroğlu got 39.6 percent of the votes.
Akıncı, 67, is a former mayor of the Turkish Cypriot half of the island’s divided capital and has been one of his community’s most outspoken advocates of reconciliation with the internationally-recognized Greek Cypriot government.
The United Nations has put forward multiple peace plans but they have all failed, notably a plan by then U.N. chief Kofi Annan which was approved by Turkish Cypriots but rejected by Greek Cypriots in simultaneous votes in 2004.
U.N.-sponsored peace talks are set to resume after the April 26 election, following a Greek Cypriot decision to end a six-month boycott.
Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades said he saw new hope of ending the island’s decades-long division following the election of Akıncı, a Turkish Cypriot champion of reconciliation.