Turkish Deputy Prime Minister responsible for Cyprus affairs, Recep Akdağ appears to have relayed Ankara’s message that it does not support the Guterres Framework as the basis for the resumption of the Cyprus negotiations.
Columnist for Turkish Cypriot daily ‘Kibris Postasi’ Gokhan Altiner notes that Akdağ (pictured with PM Erhurman) referred to the recent incidents in Gaza and correlated them with Turkey’s guarantees and military force in Cyprus, asserting that “with these kind of incidents we once more see the importance of this”. Altiner writes the following:
“[…] Now, what should we understand from this? Has he made this statement for the sake of making it? What did he want to say? What was he referring to?
The fact that President Mustafa Akinci submitted the Guterres Framework agreement to the Greek Cypriots for a new start [on the Cyprus negotiations] had caused reactions in various circles in Turkey. At first glance, I also had thought that Akinci could not have done this without consulting with the Turkish government. However, the information which emerged afterwards shows that the president made this move without Turkey knowing it.
According to this information, the AK Party government is very annoyed by this stance of President Akinci. Even though the Guterres Framework includes an article on the lifting of the guarantees and withdrawal of the army after an agreement between the sides, we clearly know that Turkey does not want to withdraw from the guarantees and its army from the island in the full sense. Behold, the fact that during the past few days Minister Akdağ, by referring to what is happening in Palestine, stressed Turkey’s military power over Cyprus, the importance of this. That this military presence on the island is based on the Treaty of Guarantees, tells us that Ankara is conveying the message that ‘we do not support the Guterres Framework’.
Yes, things are just like I said. Ankara’s understanding on a solution in Cyprus has changed. The Greek Cypriots did what they did and achieved this. […]
Turkey does not trust the Greek Cypriots and at the same time, it does definitely not believe that a solution could be achieved with the Greek Cypriots. In fact, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Akdağ is clearly warning the Greek Cypriots: ‘We are guarantors and we have a deterrent military force on the island’. […] Very well, is he right? Yes, he is absolutely right and he is doing the right thing.
Actually, another backstage aspect of Recep Akdağ’s visit is to react on the spot to the beginning of a possible negotiating process between the two leaders. Akdağ, of course, represents the clear stance of a government and the expression lying behind this representation is the following: ‘An agreement, in which our guarantees and our army will not be present, will not be materialised’. […]
On the other hand, according to information I obtained from reliable sources, Recep Akdağ reacted to the recent annulment of the citizenships of 175 and reproached Deputy Prime Minister Kudret Ozersay. The reversal of the Council of Ministers decision to annul 175 citizenships was discussed..[…]”