One of the biggest problems of the Cyprus issue is asymmetry because Greek Cypriots are citizens of the Republic of Cyprus and Turkish Cypriots look like a community, President Ersin Tatar said, BRT reported.
Addressing the Antalya Diploma Forum during his speech on “Towards a Realistic Solution in Cyprus”, President Tatar reminded that the 2004 Annan Plan had been an opportunity to resolve the problem. He pointed out that the Greek Cypriots had voted against the Annan Plan by over 75 percent, while 85 percent of the Turkish Cypriots had voted ‘yes’.
Tatar also recalled that the international community had made many promises to the Turkish Cypriots before they voted in favour of the plan. These promises, by and large, were left hanging in the air, he said.
“But Greek Cypriots are now in the European Union and benefit from all European institutions and prevent Turkish Cypriots from being treated equally“, Tatar said.
President Tatar said that when he met European Commission Vice-President Josep Borrell at the Antalya Forum, Borell had shown sympathy for the Turkish Cypriots, however, sympathy in politics was not enough, said Tatar.
The President went on to say that the Cyprus problem was not just a regional issue, affecting only Greek and Turkish Cypriots. He said that anyone with an understanding of diplomacy and international politics should have been aware of the facts of the 1960 Constitution of the Republic of Cyprus as regards energy reserves and the balance of power in the Eastern Mediterranean.
“Today we are faced with a situation where the interests of Turkey and the related problems of the Turkish Cypriots are ignored. They brought the Republic of Cyprus into the EU very unfairly and also imported a problem. Whenever Turkey has a negotiation process with the EU, whether it is related to Cyprus or not, the Greeks immediately threaten to veto”, Tatar said.
He went on to say that Turkey continues to provide support for the Turkish Cypriots but does not favour a federal solution.
“If this right is recognised, then we will start mutual official talks“, said Tatar.
The Turkish Cypriots want to be a part of the international community and have the right to self-government, Tatar said.
“We want to advance with our own state, if this right is recognised, then we can talk about domestic and regional issues. In that case, Turkey will also work for the development and welfare of the region”, President Tatar concluded.