No Turkish settlers will be repatriated after a solution to the Cyprus problem is found, TRNC Foreign Minister Emine Colak has said. She added that the people must be kept informed on progress in the negotiations.
In an interview with Turkish Cypriot daily ‘Diyalog’, she referred to the EU’s role in the negotiations. She said that the EU was not an actor in the negotiations. “The EU is not a side at the table. The Greek Cypriots are. The EU representative is there to offer technical support. He is there for consultation and to express an opinion when there is a question as regards the EU Law and mechanisms. He is not in a position to make decisions. It is wrong to say that the EU is a side there. There is no problem having a representative there. On the contrary, it is useful”, she said.
Replying to a question about the settlers brought from Turkey after the 1974 Turkish military intervention, Colak gave an assurance that no one will be sent back. She argued that the people who came to the island and were granted citizenship by the TRNC according to its own laws, could not be sent back. “The component states will decide for themselves regarding their own citizens. That is, the Turkish Cypriot founding state will itself determine the situation regarding citizenship after the solution. There could be no situation where it own citizens are rejected or sent back “.
Referring to the territory issue, Colak said that the issue of territorial adjustment had not yet come onto the agenda. It is President Akinci’s priority to keep adjustments to a minimum. However, there was no guarantee that there would be no adjustments at all. This chapter was also a component of the Annan Plan, she noted. Percentages had been discussed at that time and would be discussed once again, with the intention of keeping movement to a minimum. The fewer the people who are displaced, the better, she said. But there is no guarantee that there would be no movement at all.
The foreign minister went on to say that the bilateral agreements signed by South Cyprus with third countries are negatively influencing the climate and reminded that: “Without agreeing on all issues, no agreement will be reached. Everything will remain as it is until the agreement is accepted. Therefore, no agreement should be made with any country until the comprehensive solution. This is a precondition of the process”, she concluded.