President Mustafa Akinci prior to his visit to Germany, gave his evaluation regarding the Cyprus problem, Turkey and the EU relations.
In an interview with Germany’s International broadcasting corporation Deutsche Welle, Akinci pointed to the importance of 2016 and noted that the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades, the UN, the EU, Turkey and Greece all agreed that this year could be the year of a solution.
Despite all the difficulties, President Akinci said there were no major problems that prevented a solution from being achieved and added that the situation on the island was neither all lavender and roses nor complete darkness.
“Out of the six chapters, serious progress has been achieved on four, but of course we do have some serious problems, however, we aim to overcome these problems and gain momentum in the second half of the year”, Akinci said.
Referring to the elections that will take place in South Cyprus in May, Akinci expressed the belief that momentum will be gained after the elections have finished and they will work so that 2016 will be the year of a solution in Cyprus.
“As long as the Turkish Cypriot people are not an equal part of a federal structure to be formed, then the EU will continue to be short-changed and unfulfilled. We want the EU to be rid of this wrong and we believe that a Cyprus that has no boundaries within itself and the formation of a united federal Cyprus will be beneficial to all”, Akinci added.
Noting that experts from the EU had come to the island to help prepare the Turkish Cypriot people for EU harmonisation once an agreement is reached, Akinci said that it was the first time that such intense contacts had been held between the EU and the Turkish Cypriot side.
Referring to the contacts he will be holding in Germany this week, he reiterated the Turkish Cypriot side’s desire to find a solution to the Cyprus problem and added that he wanted to reach an agreement that would protect the peoples’ rights on the island and allow them to take their rightful place within Europe and the world.
He said that a solution to be found should be assimilated by the two leaders on the island, accepted and approved by the majority of the people on the island when taken to a referendum.
“Of course Turkey has some weight on the island we can’t deny this. The military is here and it has made economic contributions to the island. And a subject where Turkey will be involved is the issue of security and guarantees that is why we will take up that issue last. If we get a good outcome from the other chapters I believe we can reach an agreement on this issue as well”, Akinci said.