Prime Minister Huseyin Ozgurgun, has argued that his government fully supports the Cyprus negotiations led by President Akinci with the support of Turkey. In statements made on television, Ozgurgun said, however, that he does not hold much hope for a solution in 2016, saying that President Anastasiades has his eye on the presidential elections coming in two years’ time. He is sending messages to the voters with that in mind and does not want to take serious steps on the Cyprus problem. “Anastasiades sees himself as a world leader, but the problem is here”, he maintained.
Referring to the curtailing of all but the most important religious services held by Greek Cypriots in churches in the North, Ozgurgun said that these services had increased fourfold over the past three years and added that his government has information that the religious services have been “politicised”.
He noted that the procedure for securing permits for these religious services had been revised and four criteria were put in place after consultations with President Akinci. He argued that there had been problems with holding these services and added: “200 services within a year are tantamount to one service every 36 hours. There is not enough security to cover them, because security measures should be taken. We possess information that the services have been politicised. We felt the need to make [new] arrangements. We consulted with our president as well and put in four particular criteria”.