Turkish FM calls on international community to take chance on Cyprus issue

Turkish FM calls on international community to take chance on Cyprus issue

Turkish FM calls on international community to take chance on Cyprus issue

Following recent attempts to relaunch talks aimed to resolve the Cyprus dispute, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has called on the international community to “take a chance,” while recalling that Turkish Cyprus has taken a position for a two-state solution in the last meeting in Genova.

“The meeting in Genova has become a turning point in Cyprus issue,” Çavuşoğlu said, speaking at a press conference with Turkish Cyprus President Ersin Tatar.

 The meeting with Tatar aimed to assess the outcomes of the Turkish Cypriot leader’s meeting with U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in Brussels, the minister said. 

In the recent informal talks in Geneva in April, which aimed to determine whether there is a common ground between the parties, the Turkish Cypriot leadership has conveyed its position to launch official negotiations if the target will be based on a two-state solution, Çavuşoğlu said.

The first unofficial 5+1 meeting – with both sides of the island, guarantor countries Turkey, Greece and the U.K., as well as the U.N. – was held in Geneva from April 27 – 29, but no common ground was found to begin the negotiations process.

The Turkish side realized at the Geneva meeting that the Greek Cypriots are “still at the same position which they presented in Crans-Montana,” the minister also said.

The last official negotiations for the Cyprus dispute collapsed in Crans-Montana in 2017.

Recalling the Antalya Diplomacy Forum held last month, Çavuşoğlu said Greek Cyprus was uncomfortable with the participation of the Turkish Cypriot leadership at the forum and urged other EU member states to avoid attending at the convention.

The Greek Cypriot politicians proved with this attitude that they do not want to share anything with the Turkish Cypriots and do not even want them to express their views at an unofficial international forum.

Çavuşoğlu also ensured that the Varosha initiative, which was partially reopened to the public in 2020 after 47 years, will be in line with the U.N. resolutions on Cyprus and will also respect the property rights of the Greek Cypriots.

Tatar, for his part, said they do not endorse a proposal for appointing a new U.N. envoy for the Cyprus dispute before launching a new official negotiation process.

Tatar recalled his meeting with Guterres last week in Brussels and noted that the issue was discussed there.

Çavuşoğlu also endorsed the Turkish Cypriot leader’s opinion and said the current adviser to the U.N. general secretary could conduct ongoing unofficial talks but that a special envoy would be “meaningful” if the official negotiation process was launched.

The island of Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when a Greek Cypriot coup aimed at Greece’s annexation of the island was followed by violence against the island’s Turks and Ankara’s intervention as a guarantor power.

It has seen an on-and-off peace process in recent years, including a failed 2017 initiative in Switzerland under the auspices of the guarantor countries.

Guterres is expected to evaluate if there will be a second 5+1 meeting in Geneva after meetings in New York in September.