The Greek Cypriot side is the side that has “experienced the greatest discomfort”, following the “collapse and the ending of a negotiating process that lasted for 50 years”, Foreign Minister Tahsin Ertugruloglu has said.
In an interview with Kibris TV, Ertugruloglu said that during this new period, the Turkish Cypriot side should not play the Greek Cypriots’ game and commit the mistakes it had made after the Annan Plan referendum.
Stating that the Greek Cypriot side does not want to establish a partnership with the Turkish Cypriots, Ertugruloglu said: “The Greek Cypriots have been panicked now. They want to continue the negotiations from the point they were left, because they are afraid of the TRNC taking the route of recognition or making other choices on the agenda”.
He also claimed that whoever is elected President of the Republic of [South] Cyprus, he is obliged to abide by the decisions of the National Council and establish good relations with the Church. He said: “Let us not dream. Saying this is not tantamount to being against the solution, it is telling of the realities. What price has the Greek Cypriot side paid during the negotiating process which lasted for 50 years? Therefore, in this new process we must say both to the world and the Greek Cypriot side that the Turkish Cypriot people now have other choices and alternatives”.
Ertugruoglu said that when he came on duty, he held some meetings with President MustafaAkinci but the latter “was not very positive for a close dialogue” with him. “Anyway, our vision is not close and we did not have close consultations”, he added.
Point out that the “old process has ended” and cannot continue within the same parameters, Ertugruloglu said that Ankara is also very determined on this issue. He said: “This process has ended. There could be no insistence on this ground. Mr President has also said this”. Noting that diplomacy does not end, Ertugruloglu said that this is why he had stated that if he had been in Akinci’s place, he would have handed over the duty of the negotiator to the assembly, but his words had been distorted. He asserted that the assembly should determine the norms and the criteria of the new process as well as the name of the negotiator.
Noting that two peoples and two states exist in Cyprus, Ertugruloglu said: “The Republic of Cyprus and the TRNC… These two states are the reality of the island of Cyprus. If the Greek Cypriot side does not sit at the table with this reality, it is ok, but as long as we do not sit with our state, we cannot leave this table with equality”.
Arguing that in the new process, they will have the opportunity to go outside the negotiating process, he stated: “We should show our rightfulness to the world. Therefore I say ‘let us be good neighbours first, let us achieve this first and then we could become good partners”.
Ertugruloglu further noted that if the UN shows its impartiality and accepts the Turkish Cypriots as an equal people, the opportunity for reaching a solution in Cyprus will be found again. “The main thing in Cyprus is for the UN to correct its mistake. The UN should re-evaluate, re-examine all its activities in Cyprus”, he said.
Replying to a question, Ertugruloglu said that the TRNC had opened representation offices in Antalya, Trabzon and Gaziantep and they were making efforts to open new representation offices in Europe, but there needed to be more financial support from the TRNC budget to support this.