Turkish Cypriot FM expresses doubts about Cyprus peace talks

Turkish Cypriot FM expresses doubts about Cyprus peace talks

Turkish Cypriot FM expresses doubts about Cyprus peace talks The foreign minister of the Turkish Cypriot government has expressed his doubts that the ongoing Cyprus peace negotiations would yield a mutually acceptable result for both of the communities on the divided eastern Mediterranean island.
“I have serious doubts as to the capability of the process to produce a mutually acceptable negotiated result,” Tahsin Ertuğruloğlu, the foreign minister of Turkish Cyprus, told AFP in an interview published on Sept. 30.

The eastern Mediterranean island was divided into a Turkish Cypriot part in the north and a Greek Cypriot part in the south after a 1974 military coup aimed at unification with Greece was followed by the intervention of Turkey as a guarantor power. 

Efforts to find a peaceful solution to the conflict were relaunched after previously failed peace talks were opened once again in May 2015 following the election of Mustafa Akıncı as the new president of Turkish Cyprus.

Akıncı and his Greek Cypriot counterpart, Nicos Anastasiades, along with the U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and his special advisor on Cyprus, Espen Barth Eide, have all expressed their belief in a possible peace deal before the end of 2016. 

The two presidents conducted a marathon of eight meetings in early September before meeting Ban in New York on Sept. 25, after which the U.N. secretary-general pledged to play a greater role in stepped-up efforts to reach a deal on settling the decades-old conflict on Cyprus before the end of the year.

“Do we see eye-to-eye with our president? No,” Ertuğruloğlu told AFP.

“Does that mean that he’s trying to secure an end for Turkish Cypriots that we don’t accept? No, I’m not saying that either,” he added. 

The Turkish Cypriot foreign minister accused Greek Cypriots of refusing to accept Turkish Cypriots as equals, AFP reported.

“As long as they continue to enjoy international recognition there is no way they will have any incentive to share anything with people they don’t see as their equals,” he declared.

“That’s where we part ways with the president [Akıncı].”