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Rotating presidency a must for the Turkish Cypriots: Akinci

19 September 2016

If there is no rotating presidency between the two founding states in a prospective Cypriot federal state, there can be no deal, President Mustafa Akinci has said.

A rotating presidency is one of the indispensable topics for the equality of the Turkish Cypriot nation. If the Greek Cypriot side says that ‘the rotating presidency will never be a parameter of the solution,’ then this means there will be no deal,” Turkish Cypriot President Mustafa Akinci said on Sunday in Nicosia, after participating in a series of eight intensive negotiating sessions with Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades in the Cyprus talks.

This means that the Turkish Cypriot leader will in no case sign this [deal] and put it before his nation.”

Akinci said that the discussion could only be held on “which intervals the rotating presidency can be implemented.”

But if in principal the point of ‘a rotating presidency will not happen’ continues, this means there will be no deal,” he reiterated.

The fifty year old Cyprus problem erupted after the island was granted independence from Britain in 1960, soon followed by an outbreak of inter-communal clashes in 1963. The island was ethnically divided between a Greek south and a Turkish north when the Turkish military intervened in 1974 under the terms of the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee after diplomacy failed to end unrest on the island and a coup on the island aimed at unification with Greece.

Efforts to find a peaceful solution to the conflict were relaunched after previously failed peace talks were opened once again, in May 2015 following the election of Akinci as the new president of the TRNC.

In an interview on 15th September with local journalists, Akinci had said a peace deal could be reached on Cyprus within 90 days if both sides of the divided island were willing and decisive about the issue. The negotiations will continue after he and President Anastasiades meet with the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in New York on 25th September.

Akinci said that a multi-party meeting, including the guarantor states, will be held later on at an unspecified date.

Britain, Turkey and Greece are the three guarantor states of Cyprus under the 1960 treaty.

The president also said that agriculture is likely to increase in north Cyprus because of the water supplied from Mersin in Turkey to the north.

He noted that if no Cyprus settlement is reached, the Greek Cypriots were likely to find themselves to be neighbours of more Turkish mainlanders, who would be drawn to the island by a flourishing agricultural industry.

If there is no resolution, then the Greek Cypriot side may become neighbours with Turkey on the island,” said Akinci.

Asked if he meant that the Turkish Cypriot administration would actually become a part of Turkey, Akinci said “I cannot know how the structure would develop after many years. In case of no solution [to the island’s division] we would of course want the continuation of the TRNC but the Greek Cypriot side should think carefully where the unrecognised [state of northern Cyprus], embargoes and the deadlock that accompanies [the whole process] will lead to,” said Akinci.

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