A delegation from the Social Democracy Party (TDP), headed by its chairman Cemal Ozyigit, met in London with various groups of MPs at the UK Parliament and addressed an evening conference held at Parliament, this week.
Also present were Huseyin Angolemli and Deniz Birinci, TDP’s deputy and foreign relations secretary respectively.
Speaking during the conference, Ozyigit noted that the negotiating process which began with the Joint Declaration of 11 February 2014 had halted and recalled that the Joint Declaration provides for a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation based on political equality. At the same time agreement has been reached on the issues of single sovereignty, single international identity and single citizenship. He pointed out that while it was anticipated that natural gas and oil resources off-shore Cyprus would act as a catalyst in the negotiating process, the opposite had occurred and had instead, created tension.
He said that the TDP had been supporting, from the offset, simultaneous steps being taken and added that it was seen that threats and provocations cause damage and are of no benefits to the process. “We wish that cooperation and reconciliation prevails, instead of tension and showing of power”, he said.
Referring to the issue of the return of the fenced-off city of Varosha, Ozyigit noted that TDP opposes Varosha remaining a ghost city by hiding behind the expression that “it is a part of the comprehensive solution”. He said that they support the return of Varosha to its legal owners and in return for this they demand the opening of Famagusta port for international trade and Ercan airport for direct flights.
Ozyigit recalled that an article regarding Varosha was included in the second High Level Agreement of 1979, which clearly said that Varosha should be returned to its legal owners within the framework of confidence building measures; adding that this was not contrary to the comprehensive solution.
He reiterated the view that the negotiations should resume immediately and suggested that two separate negotiating processes at technical level should be established, in parallel to the negotiations, to discuss the issues of Varosha and hydrocarbons.
Ozyigit argued that the British government, as a member of the EU, has “very important responsibilities as regards Cyprus” and added that it should contribute to the resumption of the negotiations and to the reaching of a permanent solution as soon as possible.