Making the lives of the Turkish Cypriots difficult and preventing them from becoming a part of the international community is in the genes of the Greek Cypriot state, Foreign Minister Kudret Ozersay has said.
Commenting on a letter reportedly sent by the Greek Cypriot Ministry of Foreign Affairs to foreign Embassies in Cyprus, asking them not to visit historic monuments in the “occupied area” of the island because they are used illegally, Ozersay pointed out that the current situation is a result of the behaviour towards and the tolerance of the international community of the Greek Cypriots.
“The tolerance exhibited by the international community towards the Greek Cypriot side has come to the point of harming the international community itself”, he said. The international community “has come face to face with a situation which does not allow them to hold an activity at a monument that is part of the [global] cultural heritage, the restoration of which they have financed”, Ozersay noted.
Saying that the Turkish Cypriots always come face to face with this mentality, Ozersay recalled that the bi-communal committee for cultural heritage has restored many monuments both in the north and south of Cyprus and described what he called the approach of “we can restore them together but you cannot use them”, as “an indication of an unacceptable attitude and a worrying situation”.
The foreign minister said a more sincere effort is needed not only for finding a comprehensive solution [to the Cyprus problem], but also for the development of relations and cooperation between the two communities. He said that the Greek Cypriot side adopts the unitary state as the norm and that this is an element which makes the sharing of administration in Cyprus more difficult.
Referring to the international community, Ozersay argued that it should remind the Greek Cypriot side that the situation is not normal. He noted that if the international community continues to allow the normalisation of the situation, the Greek Cypriot side’s habit will become ever more entrenched and it will be more difficult to change “an element which became embedded into the genes of the institutions on the Greek Cypriot side. For this reason, the way out is not to accuse the Greek Cypriot side; but the international community should change its stance and attitudes”, he concluded.