Improving the relations between the two communities in Cyprus and safeguarding an environment of trust, is the responsibility of both communities, President Mustafa Akinci’s spokesman Barış Burcu has said.
In a written statement regarding the circular letter issued by the South Cyprus Customs Department, warning that the contents of fuel tanks in Greek Cypriot vehicles would be tested at the border checkpoints, to see if they contained fuel purchased in North Cyprus, was a Greek Cypriot measure to put obstacles in the way of confidence building.
He also pointed to two confidence building measures (CBM) which had been obstructed by the Greek Cypriot side. The introduction of island-wide mobile telephony and linking the two sides’ electricity grids had not been implemented “because of the Greek Cypriot side’s negative stance”, Burcu wrote
Burcu went on to say that the personal attacks against Turkish Cypriots who cross to the south is an unfortunate fact and added that the Turkish Cypriot side has repeatedly stressed the importance and need to prevent such unfortunate and unacceptable incidents and for the responsible to be caught and brought to justice. “However, the Greek Cypriot side had unfortunately remained insensitive towards efforts aimed at increasing cooperation and establishing an environment of trust”.
“As if this was not enough, the Greek Cypriot Administration has now introduced a number of measures aimed at preventing or punishing Greek Cypriots purchasing fuel from the north”, the statement read.
Burcu added that the new checks introduced, which came up with hundreds of excuses to prevent the Green Line Regulation from being effectively implemented, was a direct warning to Greek Cypriots who shop in the north.
Pointing out that the value of the Turkish Lira against other foreign currencies constantly changed, Burcu said that due to this reason, fuel prices in the north were sometimes cheaper or more expensive than prices in the south.
“We have never introduced such measures when prices in the south were cheaper. The Greek Cypriot side’s unacceptable and despotic stance in response to this temporary situation does not serve to develop the much needed good relations and trust between the two communities”, his statement concluded.