Former president and current leader of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) Mehmet Ali Talat, has argued that negotiations for a Cyprus settlement had been conducted for 2.5 years only since 2005.
Speaking on a television programme, Talat recalled that he had been elected as president in 2005 and that the negotiations began only after the election of President Christofias in 2008 and lasted for 1.5 years.
“The general tendency of the Greek Cypriot side is to continuously delay and bring up obstacles”, he stated, claiming that the Greek Cypriots “are afraid” of a rejection. He argued:
“Real negotiations were held for 1.5 years during my term and one year during Mr Akinci’s term. The real negotiations in Cyprus have continued for 2.5 years. Eroglu’s term was a lost period. We have produced 30 papers. Today these are being developed. This was done within the 2.5 years”.
Referring to Kudret Ozersay, current leader of the People’s Party (HP), Talat recalled that Ozersay had been a “technical expert” during his term and was appointed as chief negotiator during Eroglu’s term, but “five years passed with academic discussions”.
“Study the newspapers of that period and you will see that the statements by Ozersay are much more substantial than Eroglu’s statements”, argued Talat expressing the view that “this mentality has been turned into a party now”.
Noting that the extent to which Ozersay wants a solution in Cyprus should be taken into consideration, Talat drew attention to the fact that HP is a right-wing party and wondered “how far can you go only by criticizing and by not putting forward any solutions?”
Noting that the solution of the Cyprus problem is very important and this is why his party supports Akinci, Talat argued:
“Our wish is to reach a solution the soonest. In case we do not reach a solution, the future of this country will be very difficult. This month the payment of the salaries will again be a problem. It is difficult even to make the payments by borrowing money. There will be a deficit of 50-60 millions. Why? Because the economic protocol with Turkey has not been signed yet. After the signing of the protocol we will weather this a little, but only a little. That is, we will actually be running an enterprise with inadequate means. Only with the solution we could develop our economy and compete with the world”.
Referring to President Akinci’s recent visit to Germany, Talat said that the important thing is to hold meetings and not whether these meetings are official or unofficial or whether they are held in an office or in a restaurant. He recalled that when he was the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community he had held official and unofficial meetings and even during President Erdogan’s visit to the United States he had asked for a meeting with President Obama. Thus a meeting was held, he said, adding that the result should be taken into account.