Referring to the statement made by retired General Ilker Basbug, former Chief of the Turkish General Staff, who asserted that the Treaties of Alliance and Guarantees in Cyprus concern Turkey, Greece and the United Kingdom alone and that President Mustafa Akinci has no say on this issue, columnist Sami Ozuslu writing for Turkish Cypriot daily ‘Yeni Duzen’ writes the following:
“[…] These words justify Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades. The position that ‘Akinci may have good intentions, but Ankara is the one which says the final word’ is an argument which is always put forward by the Greek Cypriots. Instead of denying this, the Turkish Cypriot leadership sets the position that ‘we are in consensus with Ankara’. Sometimes this is correct. Sometime, however, it is not. If Nicosia comes into conflict with Ankara, the one who sits in the presidential palace will take the blame for this. In this situation, the Greek Cypriot political elite will relax for good.
Ilker Basbug is a retired army officer. What he says does not commit the state very much. However, the stance of those who do represent the state in Turkey is not very different. What is known in the clearest terms, is the stance of Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu (on left) during his last visit […] during which he met with Akinci and the leaders of the political parties in the presidential palace and left the island without making a single statement. It is said that the climate at [the meeting] was cold. Some even say that Cavusoglu ‘slammed the door and left’. Why? Because President Akinci, Prime Minister Erhurman and National Education minister Cemal Ozyigit instantly opposed the proposal of bringing confederation onto the agenda. When this happened, Cavusoglu abandoned both the palace and the island without making a statement, they say. It is obvious that Ankara got very angry about the situation.
“…Ilker Basbug’s statements are clear. Akinci, who took courage from the verbal reference by Cavusoglu and made a call on Anastasiades saying ‘come and let us accept the Guterres Framework and sign it’, receives one blow after the other from Ankara. Not only the government, but also the main opposition which takes a social democratic line, see the Cyprus problem with outmoded glasses from the 1950’s. As for Ilker Basbug, he represents the stance of the army. […]”.