Akinci speaking on the decision by Ankara to lift visa restrictions to EU citizens as well as the EU Commission’s recommendation for the same for Turkish nationals wishing to travel to EU countries, had said the visa issue was not new and dated back to 2013.
He said that the wisdom of some decisions could only be understood with hindsight.
“As Turkey achieves progress in its EU membership process there will no doubt be actions or moves which will become inevitable. While Turkish football teams are prevented from playing friendly matches with Turkish Cypriot teams, we have seen examples where Turkish teams play official matches with Greek Cypriot teams. So even though Turkey states that it does not recognise the Greek Cypriot side, sometimes it is faced with such inevitable situations”, Akinci said.
The president added that the same dilemma applied to the visa issue.
“Even though Turkey does not recognise south Cyprus diplomatically, it is forced to indirectly acknowledge its existence”, he said, recalling that Greek Cypriots were previously allowed to enter Turkey on the condition that they paid a visa fee.
Also touching upon claims that the Turkish Cypriots were being sidelined and excluded from the solution process, Akinci said that the comments made were pure exaggeration, since a solution to the Cyprus problem without the consent and active involvement of the Turkish Cypriots was out of the question.
“A solution to the Cyprus problem is only possible through the joint consent of the stakeholders on the island. That is a solution is only possible through the consent of Turkish Cypriots and the Greek Cypriots via a referendum to be held on both sides”, he added.
Akinci also stated that contrary to claims, the Turkish Cypriot side is the main actor at the negotiating table.