President Akinci has called on the universities in the TRNC and the South to cooperate. Speaking at the first lecture of the Near East University (DAU) for the academic year 2015-16, Akinci said that the Greek Cypriots should get rid of this obsession that cooperating with the Turkish Cypriots will help advance the recognition of the TRNC. He added that cooperation between the two communities in the field of mobile telephony had also encountered the “obsession about recognition”.
Referring to the peace process prior to the Annan Plan referendum in 2004, Akinci argued that if the process had been managed more wisely, “both sides would be members of the EU or the accession of the one side only would have been prevented”.
There are some that favour other options to the federal solution, he noted. And there some people in both communities who would reject even the best solution.
Akinci said that when he had recently stated that negative consequences may arise if the natural resources are not used wisely, some circles on the Greek Cypriot side had misunderstood this warning. He noted that if the natural gas is used wisely, it will contribute to the development of relations between the countries in the region. He further argued that bringing water [from Turkey] which could be used by both communities of the island could make a significant contribution to their relations. Akinci noted that technical work for interconnecting the electricity networks in Cyprus is continuing and argued that the electricity which will come from Turkey could also reach to the Middle East.
The President said that they are committed to a bi-communal, bi-zonal solution adopting EU principles and added: “I have repeatedly explained what I understand of bi-zonality. This is a structure in which the Turkish Cypriots will have the clear majority of property and population, they will be the masters of their own area and administrate themselves within the framework of the rules of the constitution”. The Greek Cypriot side argues that this is contrary to the EU aquis on freedom of movement.
Expressing the view that cooperation between the universities and education institutions should be discussed during the negotiations, Akinci said that education especially in the South is alienating the communities and gave as example the situation in the bi-communal English School in Nicosia. He argued that the curriculum needed a “new point of view”.
Akinci said that preparations will begin for the Turkish Cypriots adopting the Euro as part of the solution. He added that the Turkish Cypriots had asked for the establishment of a committee composed of persons appointed by the EU Commission. He noted that the experts will primarily be there to deal with the issues of adopting the Euro and the customs union and will work together with TRNC officials.
Explaining that they have launched the procedure for bringing the Turkish Cypriot founding state in line with EU laws, Akinci claimed that they have convinced both the EU and the Greek Cypriots on this issue.