Turkish Cypriot presidency hopes elections on Greek side won’t harm peace talks

Turkish Cypriot presidency hopes elections on Greek side won’t harm peace talks

NICOSIA – Anadolu Agency
Turkish Cypriot presidency hopes elections on Greek side won’t harm peace talks

CİHAN photo

Turkish Cypriot presidency has expressed its wish that the elections scheduled for May to elect Greek Cypriot administration will not harm the ongoing peace talks between the two sides. 

Barış Burcu, the spokesperson for Turkish Cypriot President Mustafa Akıncı, has said the election process in Greek Cyprus would hopefully not hamper the positive environment established with the peace talks, which were re-launched in May 2015 to find a solution to the four-decade dispute. “Our wish is that a positive attitude is implemented in this [election] process and [that the process is] kept away from discourse and distortion that can harm the resolution process,” said a statement issued by Burcu. 

According to the statement, while gaining the majority vote of Greek Cypriots, who in 2004 rejected a U.N. plan to unify the island, was crucial in the pre-election stage, it was also crucial to win a majority of Turkish Cypriots, who took to the streets for a solution years ago but were let down as they could not find a response. 

The polls of Greek Cyprus, to be held on May 22, will elect 56 of 80 seats in the House of Representatives of the Republic of Cyprus, which currently only represents the Greek Cypriot community. The remaining 24 seats were elected by Turkish Cypriots in the past, but due to the partition in 1974, these 24 seats are left unfilled. 

Cyprus was divided into Turkish and Greek Cyprus in 1974 when Turkey intervened on the island in response to a coup aimed at uniting the island with Greece.

Burcu said the declaration announced on Feb. 11, 2014, between the two sides of the island was an important document upon which the peace talks were being conducted. He said that serious developments had been made on topics of administration and distribution of power, economy, the European Union and property ownership. 

“As both sides do not officially recognize each other and as we are not negotiating a confederation of two sovereign states, it is natural that we will build a United Federal Cyprus with two founding states,” said Burcu in the statement, adding that the 2014 declaration openly stated this framework. 

The joint declaration announced by the U.N. mission in Cyprus on Feb. 11, 2014 said a settlement between the two sides “will be based on a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation with political equality” after the presidents of Turkish and Greek parties met in the U.N. buffer zone in Nicosia.

The statement added that the resolution process was trying to form a new structure in Cyprus, not to “amend the ‘Republic of Cyprus,’ which currently only represents the Greek Cypriot community.”