“The efforts of the Turkish side alone are not enough for a solution, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told reporters after meeting with Ersin Tatar, the newly elected president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).
He added: “It is obvious that the Greek side has no intention of accepting a solution on the basis of the equal partnership of the Turkish Cypriot people.”
The reason for the current situation in the Eastern Mediterranean is the Greek/Greek Cypriot duo, who have not heeded Turkey’s warnings since 2003 and have ignored its constructive suggestions, said Erdoğan.
Erdoğan said that he will pay a visit to Northern Cyprus on Nov. 15.
He emphasized that new ideas were needed for a solution on the long-divided island, citing the failure of the 2017 Crans-Montana Cyprus talks that he said showed that a federation would not be viable.
“As the Greek Cypriot side did not see the Turkish Cypriot people as equal partners, they left unanswered their calls for cooperation for the sharing of hydrocarbon revenues,” Erdoğan said.
He accused Greek Cypriot administration of seeing the Turkish side “as a minority under their own rule” and said they “continue to usurp the equal rights of the Turkish Cypriots.”
Erdoğan stressed that there were already two separate states in Cyprus.
“The solution in which the two peoples can live side by side in peace, prosperity and security should be based on the facts on the island,” he added.
“At this stage, we definitely think that starting the negotiations exclusively on the basis of the federation option would be a waste of time,” Erdoğan said.
“We now believe that the two-state solution should be brought to the table with a realistic approach.”
Underlining that the efforts of the Turkish side alone were not enough for a solution, he said it was obvious that the Greek side did not intend to accept a solution based on the equal partnership of the Turkish Cypriot people.
He said the only reason that negotiations have failed for over 50 years was the Greek Cypriot administration’s uncompromising attitude.
“The Greeks don’t want to share the state they extorted in 1963 with the Turkish Cypriot people,” he added.
Praising the reopening of the formerly abandoned city of Maras in the TRNC, Erdoğan suggested having “a picnic” in the seaside town.
The abandoned town of Maraş in the Turkish Cypriot city of Gazimagusa, also known as Famagusta, partially reopened for public use on Oct. 8.
Last Friday, Tatar was sworn in as the country’s president and paid his first foreign visit to Turkey.
For his part, Tatar hailed Turkey’s proposal for a five-party conference on the Cyprus issue, calling it the “last chance for an agreement.”
“In our opinion, your proposal to convene a conference with the participation of the TRNC to discuss the developments in the Eastern Mediterranean is extremely realistic and constructive,” he added.
However, Tatar said it would be “a dream” to expect the Greek Cypriots, who have refused to compromise even for the maritime resources around the island, to agree with the suggestion, stressing that no one had the right to knowingly commit the TRNC to the plots of the Greek side.
“We’re determined to take further steps in harmony and cooperation with Turkey,” he added.
Tatar also dismissed prospects for a federation, saying no one on the Greek side believed in such an outcome.
The island of Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when a Greek Cypriot coup 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 guarantor countries Turkey, Greece, and the U.K.
The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was founded in 1983.
Hurriyet Daily News