“The Greek Cypriot side does not want to share power or the island’s wealth with the Turkish Cypriot people and steps taken on the fenced-off town of Maras/Varosha will mean that a military area will become demilitarised”, Foreign Minister Kudret Ozersay has said.
In a special interview on Turkey’s NTV television channel, the foreign minister said that “this point had been reached as an outcome of a protest action that took place against Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. What we are saying and what we are doing has made the Greek Cypriot side take action”.
Touching on the meeting to take place between Cypriot community leaders Mustafa Akinci and Nicos Anastasiades on Friday, 9 August, Ozersay said that the last time the leaders had come together, some confidence building measures (CBM) had been agreed upon and announced to the public. He further said that not only was this important for the continuation of relations between the two sides but it was also a positive development, as it assisted in the trust-building process between the two sides.
Noting that in the past, despite some confidence building measures being agreed upon, some of these were yet to be realised. Ozersay said that progress had to be made on certain CBM’s.
Pointing out that the Greek Cypriot side was not willing to share power or the island’s riches with the Turkish Cypriot people Ozersay said: “If there is no change in the Greek Cypriot side’s stance then it is not possible to wait for a change to take place on the solution process on the island”.
Regarding the fenced-off town of Maras/Varosha, Ozersay said that the issue had been discussed a thousand times during the comprehensive negotiations process and as part of the confidence building measures. However, due to the “Greek Cypriot side constantly dragging its feet on the issue, no outcome had been achieved”.
Stating that “the TRNC government accepts the former residents of Maras/Varosha as its fellow interlocutors and shareholders”, Ozersay said: “Maras is a part of the TRNC and under military zone status. We have taken an initiative in the area and taken an inventory of the buildings there and we will take certain steps”.
“To include the Greek Cypriot side in this process will mean that the area would have been sentenced to the same fate. The former owners have rights and we will take steps accordingly”, he added.
He noted that the relevant decision taken by the UN Security Council is, in fact, but a recommendation.
“In this century, who will say we don’t give you permission to demilitarise a military zone?” the foreign minister asked.