Former TRNC president and current leader of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), Mehmet Ali Talat has expressed the hope that a result will be reached in the Cyprus negotiations by the end of the year.
Speaking from the Turkish city of Aydin where he met with its Mayor Ozlem Cercioglu, Talat said that the economic difficulties in South Cyprus have created an environment which supports the solution. Referring to the forthcoming parliamentary elections in the South, he said:
“We are experiencing a slowing down because of the elections in South Cyprus, but progress is continuing in spite of everything, convergences are increasing. The most important thing is that, differently to past years, the economic and political conditions in South Cyprus are creating a community more in favour of a solution to the Cyprus problem.
“The Greek Cypriot economy experienced a big shock. Previous attitudes such as ‘the Turkish Cypriots are poor, we are rich, and we do not want to share our wealth’ have ceased to exist. The mindset that with the solution, the island will attract foreign investors and thus it will become rich, has begun to prevail and therefore the conditions seem to be more favourable.”
Talat said that his party had supported President Akinci in the negotiations and as the largest party in the TRNC, will continue doing so. He further noted that Turkey is offering its support for the negotiations and expressed his gratitude.
Meanwhile, addressing a conference on the Cyprus problem at a university in the same Turkish city, Talat argued that the energy resources and the approach between Greece and Turkey will help the solution process in Cyprus.
Replying to a student’s question on energy resources, Talat argued that after the discovery of natural gas resources, the Greek Cypriots saw that these could be conveyed to Europe via Turkey and these developments had changed the climate on the Greek Cypriot side.
Talat also argued that the Greek Cypriot side knows that its economic problems will ease with a Cyprus settlement and “thus they will be able to revive their collapsed economy up and attract foreign investors”.
“Therefore, conditions have changed. The energy resources, the approach between Turkey and Greece will help the solution process. The presidency is carrying out the negotiations today, but the government crisis is of course also an influence. I think that the government crisis will not last for long. It seems that today or tomorrow a government will be established or an early election will be held”, he concluded.