Former Turkish Cypriot President, Mehmet Ali Talat has said that if the Turkish Cypriots were asked if they would like to be annexed by Turkey, that 80% of them would say “no”.
Talat was speaking at Istanbul’s Aydin University on the Cyprus problem entitled: “Peace determination beside extremism in Cyprus”, Turkish daily ‘Zaman’ reported last week.
Talat stated further that there are many reasons for the Turkish Cypriots to think in this way, for example, the way they live and the state of the economy. Talat also said that if asked the hypothetical question: “If there was no Turkey, could there be a solution?” again 80% would say “no”.
Talat pointed out that the solution of the Cyprus problem is an honourable duty. He said that the Greek Cypriot politicians stressed that it was necessary to regard the solution of the Cyprus problem from aspects other than that of nationalism alone and added: “The Greek Cypriots need the solution in the island in order to recover economically. They feel the need for a solution in order for the natural gas of Cyprus and Israel to be evaluated. We also have to evaluate these arguments”.
Stating that a viable peace in Cyprus is important for the Turkish Cypriots, Turkey, the Greek Cypriots and Greece, Talat added: “Turkey’s role in the peace process is very important. If Turkey says that this is a right and an appropriate agreement, it seems that it could be accepted. Turkey should undertake a role here. Turkish Cypriots cannot get this job done alone”.