Prime Minister Huseyin Ozgurgun has said that if the Cyprus negotiations are unsuccessful that there is still a “plan B”. “We are not at a dead end, there is still a way”, he said in a television programme broadcast by Turkish Haber Turk TV.
This would be something that would be decided by the Turkish Cypriot people and Turkey, he said.
Ozgurgun also said that the sides are not ready for the negotiations to be launched in Geneva on January 9. “We have not opened up bargaining for the TRNC’s territories”, Ozgurgun said adding that there are still “serious differences” between the Turkish Cypriot side and the Greek Cypriot side. He also reiterated that Turkey’s “active and effective guarantees” are a red line for the great majority of the Turkish Cypriot people and added that the Greek Cypriot side demands the “withdrawal of the Turkish troops”.
According to Ozgurgun, the Annan Plan cannot be considered as a basis for the negotiations because, as he stated, a lot of things have changed on the island over the past 12 years. “During these 12 years, a lot of people have been settled on those lands. Nobody can say to these people to move away now and go to another place. Nobody can say this”, Ozgurgun stated.
Noting that some problems are being experienced on the Governance and Power Sharing Chapter, he added: “There are serious problems on the political equality issue. There are some issues which are seriously contrary to bi-zonality. […]”.
Pointing out that the Turkish Cypriot side’s pre-conditions at the negotiating table are “crystal clear”, Ozgurgun said: “Bi-zonality is a must. Turkey’s active and effective guarantees are a must. The equal status of the two founding states is a must”.
Expressing the view that the progress achieved in the talks is not sufficient for the guarantor countries to attend a summit in Geneva, Ozgurgun argued that if things are put into the framework the Turkish Cypriots’ wishes, there will definitely be a solution.