Turkey slams Greek Cyprus’ Enosis move
Turkish Cypriot President Mustafa Akıncı speaks with Special Representative of UN Secretary General in Cyprus Elizabeth Spehar.Turkey has rebuked Greek Cyprus’ recent decision to introduce the commemoration of “Enosis” in Greek Cypriot public schools, noting that the decision made by a “racist, far-right,” party would not contribute to ongoing efforts to create a new partnership between Turkish and Greek Cypriots.
The new law allows the celebration of the 1950 referendum, when 96 percent of Greek Cypriots voted for the island to be annexed to Greece.
“At the current stage in the negotiations aiming to establish a new partnership state in Cyprus based on the political equality of the two sides as put forth in the Joint Declaration of Feb. 11, 2014, it is clear that the Greek Cypriot parliament’s and leadership’s ownership of the proposal made by the far-right, racist ELAM will not contribute to confidence-building between the two peoples on the Island, nor will it contribute to the negotiation process,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement late Feb. 14.
“In fact, this current case as well as various previous examples, clearly demonstrated that as long as a fundamental change does not take place in such Greek Cypriot mentality- which refuses to accept the Turkish Cypriots as co-owners of the Island, it will be difficult to achieve results from the efforts aiming towards a settlement in Cyprus,” it said.
The Turkish Cypriot parliament released a declaration on Feb. 13 reflecting their expectations and concerns, informing that Turkey joined Turkish Cypriot President Mustafa Akıncı’s call on the annulment of the decision.
“The Greek Cypriot leader’s characterization of this decision as ‘a simple reference to a historical fact’ and his depiction of it as being equivalent to the celebrations of the anniversaries of the July 20 Cyprus Peace Operation and the Nov. 15 founding of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, on the other hand, are both meaningless and unacceptable. The Cyprus Peace Operation aimed to put an end to the humanitarian tragedy caused by a mentality rooted in delusions of ‘Enosis,’” it added.
Akıncı pens letter to Guterres over law
Akıncı also penned a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Feb. 15, saying the ongoing peace talks process and the efforts to build mutual trust between the two communities on the island would be seriously damage if the law instituting the celebration of “Enosis” was not repealed.
Akıncı urged Guterres to take the initiative to make the Greek Cypriot parliament repeal the decision.
“If the Greek Cypriot parliament does not fix this decision, the negotiation process will be nonsense from now on,” Akıncı told reporters in Nicosia on Feb. 15, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
On Feb. 13, Akıncı also met with Special Representative of UN Secretary General in Cyprus Elizabeth Spehar to raise the issue.
Meanwhile, UN special envoy Espen Barth Eide said on Feb. 15 after meeting Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades that progress had been made on a compromise formula regarding how security will be enforced after ethnically divided Cyprus is to be reunified, The Associated Press reported.
But Eide told the AP there was still “a long way to go” on a structure meeting the security concerns of the Greek and Turkish Cypriots, as well as the east Mediterranean island’s “guarantors” - Greece, Turkey and Britain.