The Turkish Minister for European Affairs, Egemen Bagis, again appealed to the Greek Cypriot administration yesterday.
He was speaking at a symposium entitled ‘The EU and the Turkish Maritime Sector’. During his speech he offered Greek Cypriot access to Turkey’s ports in return for them allowing international flights to Ercan airport.
Mr Bagis pointed out that South Cyprus has the world’s largest registered fleet of foreign vessels but that Turkey was not using the R0C’s ports, so they were losing substantial fees. He also said that Turkey had allowed South Cyprus to use Turkish ports until 1987 and would be willing to do so again if Ercan became an internationally recognised airport.
Mr Bagis reminded delegates that tomorrow (Sunday February 24th) there would be presidential elections in South Cyprus and said that whoever won should remember that the biggest loser from rejecting the Annan Plan was South Cyprus. He said that following on from that decision, eventually South Cyprus reached the point of going bankrupt while they held the EU rotating presidency. He said that nobody had wanted to invest in the island because they did not know what would happen tomorrow.
Concluding on this topic, Mr Bagis said that the TRNC could emulate Taiwan. Many countries did not recognise Taiwan but were happy to trade with it.