Former negotiators Osman Ertuğ and Ergün Olgun have said that the Turkish Cypriot side needs to review its policy on the Cyprus negotiations process in light of the latest developments.
In a joint written statement, the two negotiators said that damage caused by the Greek Cypriot House of Representatives decision to commemorate the 1950 Enosis plebiscite at Greek Cypriot schools to the negotiations process had brought dialogue and relations between the two sides to a turning point.
They argued that the Greek Cypriot House of Representative’s decision had rendered the process to create a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation meaningless; adding that to resume the talks without removing the isolation imposed on the Turkish Cypriot side would only drive the process into the same vicious circle.
Osman Ertuğ and Ergün Olgun stated that reactions to the decision from all segments of Turkish Cypriot society had not only been an expression of its sensitivity towards the issue but had shown that the people had come to understand the mentality they faced when seeking political equality and freedom in Cyprus.
Pointing out that the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades, rather than seeking ways to overturn this mistake, had attempted to conceal the unfortunate decision, the former negotiators said that Anastasiades’s claims that Akıncı had overreacted was a case in point.
“To return to the negotiating table as if nothing happened and to resume the talks will not only mean continuing an exercise that has become meaningless but will also do credit to the other side’s pro-enosis and hegemonic mentality. It will also be at best abandoning true equality and settling for the status of a privileged minority in the event a solution is found to the Cyprus Problem,” the statement read.
The two negotiators went on to argue that the two side’s understanding of political equality was quite different, with the Turkish Cypriot side talking about a new partnership on the basis of equality and the Greek Cypriot side talking about a majority and minority balance on the basis of figures.
“This shows that the Turkish Cypriot side and the Greek Cypriot side do not share the same aim and vision regarding a settlement. The time has come to review our relations with South Cyprus as well as our policy regarding the negotiations and to do the necessary changes,” the statement added.