Turkey upset at new Cypriot president’s attitude to North: Turkish FM
ISTANBUL – Anatolia News Agency
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu (R) meets with his Irish counterpart, Eamon Gilmore, in Istanbul. AA photoNewly elected Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades should have met with his Turkish Cypriot counterpart, Derviş Eroğlu, after winning recent elections, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said April 7 criticizing the new leader’s actions in office so far.
“The attitude [Anastasiades] adopted after the elections has created disappointment. Mr. Eroğlu made a call for a meeting at the earliest [opportunity] and sent a letter. We were all expecting that both could have at least come together [by now], but the information that we have obtained lends the impression that this won’t be possible in the near future,” Davutoğlu said during a press conference in Istanbul with his Irish counterpart, Eamon Gilmore.
Davutoğlu said the economic depression in Greek Cyprus could not serve as a pretext for not starting talks.
“We are facing a dilemma. When we say ‘Participate in the negotiations seriously,’ if they are strong and in a good situation, they take a distant attitude; and if they are weak, they say, ‘Wait until we become stronger.’ If there is an opportunity for a solution to a crisis that has been frozen for such a long time, you should not wait even a minute,” he said.
The Turkish foreign minister also said the steps to be taken for a solution would ease Greek Cyprus’ economic woes. “If in 2004 the Greek Cypriots had not said no to a [U.N.-backed reunification] plan that Turkish Cypriots [agreed to], today such a crisis would not have happened.”
One chapter ‘not enough’
Following his meeting with his counterpart from Ireland, which is the current rotating president of the European Union, Davutoğlu also talked about the prospective opening of a first accession chapter in 2.5 years. If France lifts its veto on four chapters and the Cyprus issue begins proceeding toward a resolution, all chapters will be open and Turkey will be able to quickly conclude its accession talks, Davutoğlu said.
“One chapter is better than nothing, but if we want to move forward, it’s not a giant step at all. It’s like the blossoming of one flower in winter; it doesn’t mean that spring is going to come. It’s just half-opening the door,” he said.
Regarding the ongoing peace process between The Turkish government and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Davutoğlu called on the EU for a contribution. A solution will also have a positive effect on the Turkish diaspora in Europe, he added.