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South’s territorial demands scuppered the talks

4 November 2014

A report listing the return of territories which currently form part of the TRNC, proposed by the Greek Cypriots as part of the Cyprus negotiations, has been published by Turkish daily ‘Milliyet’.

The report written by the paper’s correspondent in North Cyprus Sefa Karahasan, says that the Greek Cypriot side has submitted a proposal in the recent negotiations which provides for the Turkish Cypriots to keep 25% of the total territory of Cyprus, if there should be a solution to the Cyprus problem.

The paper writes that it obtained the list of the villages which the Greek Cypriots want to be returned. “They asked for areas which go beyond territories that have been demanded until now”, noting that the list of the villages which was proposed by President Anastasiades is similar to the map discussed in 1977 by the late Turkish Cypriot President Rauf Denktas and Archbishop Makarios. “While Anastasiades had said ‘yes’ to the Annan Plan which provided for giving 29% of the island to the Turkish side, now he is taking a step backwards from this number and puts the precondition of leaving at least 25% of land to the Turkish side”, it says.

Citing diplomatic sources, ‘Milliyet’ argues that the negotiations might have been interrupted by the activities of the Turkish seismic research vessel ‘Barbaros Hayrettin Pasa’, but the territorial demands submitted to the Turkish Cypriot side were what caused the solution process to come to a “complete standstill”. “According to the proposal brought to the negotiating table by Anastasiades and his team, many areas and mainly Morfou [Guzelyurt], Varosha [Maras] and Rizokarpaso [Dipkarpaz] are given to the Greek Cypriots”, argues the paper noting that the territories of the Turkish Cypriot side would be decreased from 36% to 25% in case of a final solution.

The paper adds: “The places which the Greek Cypriots want back for a solution are: Morfou, Varosha, Lefka, Rizokarpaso, Kythrea, Limnia, Agios Sergios, Yialousa, Bogazi, Galinoporni, Leonarisso, Sirianohori, Pyroi, Vadili, Angastina, half of Nicosia, southern Mesaoria, and half of Famagusta. Morfou, which the Greek Cypriots want, has the island’s most abundant supply of water. The Cyprus Campus of Middle East Technical University (ODTU) is located there. Also, there is the Lefka European University (LAU) in Lefka. Kythrea; on the other hand, is a place with a strong military presence. Rizokarpaso is a place densely by people from Turkey. This place is strategically important”.

A high ranking official told ‘Milliyet’ that the negotiations might resume in the future, but it is not expected that they will “advance healthily” because of the territories which the Greek Cypriots want.

The paper noted that during his visit to Turkey, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Adviser for Cyprus, Espen Barth Eide submitted a demand as regards the withdrawal of Turkey’s seismic research vessel ‘Barbaros’ from [South] Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone, but Ankara rejected this demand.

The report concludes by stating that a high ranking Greek Cypriot official told the paper that the negotiations cannot resume if Turkey does not stop the seismic explorations it has begun in the Mediterranean. “We cannot reach a solution with Turkey’s threats”, said the source. According to ‘Milliyet’, it is said that the Greek Cypriots are not satisfied with the stance of the USA and Greece in the process.

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