The continuation of Turkey’s guarantees in Cyprus is inevitable President Mustafa Akinci has said.
Speaking on a joint live broadcast with TRT Haber and BRT on Tuesday evening, Akinci also argued that a settlement on the Cyprus problem would not be possible if the Greek Cypriot side and Greece insist on zero troops and no guarantees.
There are major differences between the talks in Geneva and the negotiations which took place in 1960, he said. “First of all we are no longer talking about the position of a vice-president but a rotating presidency. This new settlement will allow a Turkish Cypriot to become the head of state. It is the first time it has been discussed. This is one of the most important gains for the Turkish Cypriots in terms of political equality”, Akinci said, adding that there will be a presidential system.
Pointing out that the Cabinet ratio back in 1960 was 7 to 3 while in the Annan Plan it was 4 to 2, President Akinci said that significant progress was also achieved on this issue, since the new Cabinet ratio, as and when a settlement is reached, will be 7 to 4. “No decision will be valid without the vote of a Turkish Cypriot,” he added.
Explaining that the new federal state will be composed of two constituent states, Akinci argued:
“We shall have our own constituent state with our own parliament, our own government, our own police force and our own courts. We shall also have the right to make our own international agreements.”
He further added that it would be possible to sign international agreements with Turkey and other states in the fields of finance, commerce, tourism and culture.
Responding to a question regarding security and guarantees, The President stressed that that abandoning Turkey’s guarantees out of the question.
He further argued that it would not be possible to reach a settlement if the Greek Cypriot side and Greece continued to insist on zero troops and zero guarantees. “It is possible to find a rational and logical solution. One side has security concerns and demands security from Turkey. There is no way the Turkish Cypriot side would say yes in a referendum without the guarantee of Turkey. A limited number of troops must remain in Cyprus. We need to adapt the situation in 1960 to 2017,” he said.
Answering another question on maps and the issue of territorial adjustments, Akinci said that the map put on the table by the Turkish Cypriot side was over 29% of the territory, in line with the percentage first set by the founding President, Rauf Raif Denktas. “The maps being waved around have nothing to do with the real thing,” he added.
Akinci also stated that the map presented was better than the map envisaged in the 2004 Annan Plan. “The Greek Cypriot side’s map too, is not what some people are claiming it to be. However, the Greek Cypriot map is not acceptable. I, as the president cannot accept this map. There is no Turkish Cypriot that can accept this map. You could ask me whether 29+ was my opening position and would I go down to 25%, but I can assure you that this will not happen. Why not? Because the bottom limit of the map presented by the Greek Cypriot side is 28.2%. There is no way of going down below that percentage,” he said.
Akinci added that the maps were locked away for safe keeping to prevent any speculation. “If we reach agreement on the other issues we shall take them out and finalise this issue with a few touches,” he said.
The President noted that a settlement will also bring a final solution to the property dispute. “We are expecting the cost of compensation to be around 10 billion euro. The EU has promised to contribute to this. How much of this promise the EU will keep, we shall all see but I’m cautious. However, if there is to be a settlement in Cyprus, everyone will need to shoulder responsibility,” he concluded.