Prime Minister Ersin Tatar said that Britain was no longer discussing reunification in Cyprus on the basis of a federation following the election of Boris Johnson as Prime Minister and Brexit.
Tatar was speaking at a news conference at Ercan airport on Thursday following his return to the island.
Evaluating his contacts in London, Prime Minister Tatar said that the UK had entered a new era with the election of Boris Johnson.
Pointing out that Britain was one of Cyprus’s three guarantor countries, Tatar said the UK was a country which could assess the injustices committed against Turkish Cypriots closely and was now in a position to take steps in line with expectations.
“The UK is an important country. It is a guarantor country and therefore any contacts or lobbying activities to be held there will be to the benefit of the TRNC and the Turkish Cypriot people”, he said.
Expat Turkish Cypriots’ Voting Rights
Tatar also pointed out that there was as many Turkish Cypriots living in London as there were in the TRNC.
He said that he had asked Turkish Cypriots living in the UK to exert more influence in institutions, particularly political ones, to voice their concerns.
“One of the issues which my contacts focused on was the granting of Turkish Cypriots living abroad the right to vote and be elected. Particularly the right to vote is important because this is a constitutional right. There is no need for a constitutional amendment here. It is possible to do this with a simple piece of legislation”, he added.
Regarding the Cyprus problem, Tatar said that the UK was no longer discussing prospects of reunification in Cyprus.
“MPs close to Mr Johnson have told us that the time has come after 50 years of talks for a federal settlement to examine alternatives and that the most realistic solution model would be based on two states”, he said.
On the issue of direct flights, the Prime Minister said that it was necessary to be cautious on the subject but pointed out that UK officials were sympathetic to the issue.
He said that they were also aware of the problem and were examining ways of overcoming this issue.
According to Greek daily ‘Ekathimerini’, a representative of the UK’s Foreign Office refuted statements made on Thursday by PM Tatar, who claimed that the UK would be examining the prospect of launching direct flights to the Ercan airport in the north of the island.
“These reports are untrue. The UK’s position on this has not changed. Direct flights between the UK and the north of Cyprus would not be in line with the UK’s international obligations,” a Foreign Office representative said on Thursday.
Tatar pointed out that planes taking off from Ercan airport touched down in Turkey because of the security standards at Ercan Airport.
“We raised this issue with UK officials. This is an issue which the British government will decide on with Turkey”, he said.
Tatar argued that direct flights could be possible once the new airport terminal is completed.