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Turkish Cypriots will not vote for solution without guarantees

5 January 2016

President Akinci’s spokesman Baris Burcu has reiterated Akinci’s statement that the Turkish Cypriot community will not vote for an agreement that does not include Turkey’s guarantees.

In an interview with Turkish daily ‘Milliyet’, Burcu said that there will be no solution in Cyprus where one side is happy and the other side disappointed. He argued that the island will prosper after a solution.

He also added that the issue of guarantees, which is seen as a threat by the Greek Cypriots, can be reconsidered. “The Turkish Cypriots, for their own safety, want the guarantee of Turkey. We should start thinking how we can create a guarantee system which will not mean safety for one side and a threat for the other. We should also be creative and constructive when the time comes to discuss this issue”, Burcu said.

Explaining that the guarantee agreements were international agreements and that they could only be changed if all the signatories on the agreement came together and gave permission, he said, “The guarantee system in 1960 was designed according to the conditions of the time. 55 years have passed since then. We are not living in the 60’s anymore. The content of the solution to be found will also be very different. It is going to be a bi-zonal solution.”

Stating that Governance and Power Sharing and the EU and Economy chapters are about to be finalised, Burcu said that “one of the thorny topics of the negotiations, the property issue is on the table now”. He added: “There will be a solution to the property issue which will not undermine bi-zonality. The Turkish Cypriots will be the majority in their region”.

Stating that reinstatement will take place on some properties, he said it was their target to keep those property returns limited and prevent this from affecting the daily lives of the people.

“There is a search for a model in property which both sides would benefit from. Alternative properties or compensation will be granted for the Turkish Cypriots who will need to return a limited number of properties to the Greek Cypriots. Uncertainty will go and properties will gain value. The property issue will mainly be resolved through compensation. We don’t have high expectations that all money for compensation will be supplied by foreign powers, however we will receive substantial contributions. If this happens then the compensation will be paid in cash. The estimated amount to be paid for compensations is 25 billion US Dollars”, said Burcu.

Noting rumours that the discussions are only focused on the property issue are untrue, Burcu stressed that the presence of the Turkish Cypriot community in the world is also important. He added: “Although we have established the TRNC we haven’t managed to become a recognised state. If we manage to find a solution then we will take our place in the world arena with a state structure in which the Turkish Cypriot community will be an equal partner.”

Milliyet

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