Turkish Cypriot main opposition leader hails ties with Ankara 'on right ground'

Turkish Cypriot main opposition leader hails ties with Ankara 'on right ground'

Bahadır Gültekin - ISTANBUL
Turkish Cypriot main opposition leader hails ties with Ankara on right ground

Turkish Cypriot main opposition Republican Turkish Party (CTP) leader and presidential candidate Tufan Erhürman has stated that a policy based on an approach that will not increase mutual tensions with Ankara is significant.

“There is no need for us to agree with Turkey on every issue, but the current conditions make it necessary to establish harmonious and good relations with Turkey on the right ground,” Erhürman told Turkish and international journalists on Feb. 17 at a press meeting as part of his visit to Istanbul.

He also noted that the right ground in relations with Ankara is to have a self-sufficient economy and a democracy that stands on its own feet in Turkish Cyprus.

“We want it to be known that Turkish Cypriots have their own culture, identity and struggle for existence and concerns about it,” Erhürman said.

Speaking about a meeting that took place on Feb. 15 over Varosha, a town that has been inhabited for the last 46 years, with a high-level participation from Turkey, Erhürman criticized the timing and the implementation of the meeting.

Expressing that such a meeting was “not suitable” shortly before the elections to be held in April 26, he stressed that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı was not invited to the meeting.

He also pointed to the necessity of solution formulas that don’t contradict international law.

Stating that he did not find other alternatives put forward like a two-state solution realistic, Erhürman reiterated that the right ground for Cyprus would go through a comprehensive solution on the basis of a bi-communal and bi-zonal federation.

In the first round of the presidential election in Turkish Cyprus in April, Erhürman will challenge incumbent Akıncı, Turkish Cypriot premier Ersin Tatar, Turkish Cyprus’ top diplomat Kudret Özersay and Erhan Arıklı.