Turkish Cypriots favor 2-state solution on island: Tatar
Turkish Cypriots are in favor of "the new policy", a two-state solution, on Cyprus as decades of negotiations for a federation failed to resolve the Cyprus issue, said the president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Ersin Tatar said the goal of the recent informal talks in Geneva in April was to determine whether there is a common ground between the parties.
For decades, the parties negotiated for a federal solution but these talks could not come to a conclusion, and this is no longer the case, said Tatar.
“Now we are defending the new policy (two-state solution) on Cyprus. I based my presidential mandate on this. We said that we want to take this process with a new vision on Cyprus, and that there cannot be a federation-based agreement,” he said.
“So far, almost all of the comprehensive negotiation proposals, including the U.N.'s, have been approved by the Turkish side, and the Greek side has rejected them all. Because the Greek side has never wanted a partnership with us on that basis (federation), and they wanted to share neither wealth nor administration with the Turks,” Tatar added.
The Greek Cypriots’ aim was to make Cyprus a Greek-Hellenic island, and it still is, and they make no effort to hide it, Tatar said.
“Now, with the support of Turkey, we are talking about two separate sovereign equality-based independent states living side by side on Cyprus. Only if this is the case can there be a comprehensive and permanent solution,” he added.
Noting that he will receive U.N. Cyprus envoy Jane Holl Lute next Monday, Tatar said that they will discuss whether there is a common ground between the parties after the Geneva talks.
Tatar said he will once again reiterate the TRNC’s position of sovereign equality and a two-state solution as preconditions for Turkish Cypriots to enter formal negotiations.
Turkey is a strong country both around the world and in its region said Tatar adding it is important that Turkey supports a two-state solution.
On Turkish-EU relations, Tatar said that Greek Cypriots are trying to disrupt relations between Turkey on the one hand and Greece and the EU on the other.
He said, this shows how poor of an idea to accept Greek Cypriots to the EU membership before a resolution on Cyprus issue.
It would be appropriate to differentiate Cyprus issue from other issues when it comes to EU-Turkey relations and agreements, he added.
'No common ground between Turkish, Greek Cypriots'
Meanwhile, There is no common ground between the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and Greek Cypriots, and the U.N. should recognize that during the second 5+1 Geneva talks, said the TRNC foreign minister.
Tahsin Ertuğruloğlu said the meeting held in late April was not "a new negotiation process," and only aimed at determining if there is a mutual understanding, allowing negotiations to begin.
The U.N. must see it "very clearly that there is no common ground anymore," he asserted, adding that he expects Jane Holl Lute, the U.N. special envoy on the Cyprus dispute, to highlight this in her report to the Security Council.
The TRNC will shape its policies according to the final decision from the U.N. after a second round of talks, he added.
The minister said that as long as the Greek side is treated as a "state" and the Turkish side as a "society," there will be no common ground to start any negotiation process.
"As long as they continue to be recognized as the Republic of Cyprus, they never foresee any power-sharing with the Turkish Cypriots ..." he said, arguing that in such circumstances, "no one should think of sitting down with us and establishing a new partnership in good faith."
"It is naive to expect a different result by repeating the same things," Ertuğruloğlu added.
Asked if better Turkey-Greece relations could affect the Cyprus issue positively, Ertuğruloğlu said he doubts Greece will approach Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots "sincerely" for improvement in ties.
The unofficial first 5+1 meeting – with both sides of the island, the guarantor countries Turkey, Greece, and Britain, and the U.N. – was held in Geneva, Switzerland from April 27-29.
"For us, the European Union is not an impartial organization," said the minister, noting that the group lost its "neutral stand" "when they made the Greek Cypriot side a member of the union by violating its own laws, and membership conditions.
"It [EU] is one of the sides of the problem, a side against us," he said. "Therefore, we have no expectations from the European Union."
The minister said the partial reopening of Maraş does not affect individual property rights of former owners, and all disputes shall be resolved according to international laws.
The city, which has been closed for nearly 50 years, needs infrastructure to be turned into a fully livable city, he said.
"Maraş will turn into a living city under Turkish rule," Ertuğruloğlu said. "In other words, the return of Maraş to the Greek side is out of the question."