The Turkish Cypriots will be sidelined, if they do not “do their duty”, Kudret Ozersay, leader of the People’s Party (HP) has said.
Referring to Turkey’s decision to lift visa requirements for the citizens of all EU member states, including South Cyprus, in a statement issued yesterday, Ozersay argued that the Turkish Cypriots and especially its leadership has a duty to explain to Turkish officials that this is not just a simple visa facility and that it will bring the erosion of some political principles. “We should explain that if we do not do this, at the other side of the negotiating table we will find an interlocutor who is controlling the situation instead of looking for a solution and who is being strengthened every day that passes”, Ozersay said. He added that if the Turkish Cypriots do not speak up now, then, “we will experience again the danger of being sidelined”.
According to Ozersay, with Turkey’s decision, all European citizens will be able to enter Turkey without a visa, while Turkish citizens will not be able to enter into countries which are not part of the Schengen Area, like Cyprus, the United Kingdom and Ireland. Ozersay described the decision as “lifting a psychological obstacle”, such as happened when visa requirements by the TRNC for Greek Cypriots who wished to cross over to the North, was abolished.
Ozersay pointed out that with this decision, Turkey shows that it can be flexible on some issues in Cyprus, such as the opening of the ports for example, in return of some rights or privileges for its citizens, without the Turkish Cypriots gaining anything.
“This situation annoys the Turkish Cypriots”, said Ozersay and added: “In short, we are facing the danger of certain arrangements in which the Turkish Cypriots will not be included, they will be sidelined. It should be said that this possibility is worrying, especially when it is assessed with the fact that recently, Turkish officials met with officials of South Cyprus without the Turkish Cypriot side being aware of it”.