A federal agreement in Cyprus will abolish Turkey’s influence on the island, Prime Minister Ersin Tatar has said.
Addressing a delegation of young employees from the Turkish Foreign Ministry who were visiting North Cyprus yesterday, Tatar noted that in the agreement which was provided for in the current negotiating process, a federal Cyprus would be accepted into the EU as a whole and Turkey’s guarantees would be totally lifted within 5-10 years. Tatar said that in this agreement Turkey’s influence in Cyprus would be abolished, Cyprus would become EU territory and it would not be possible for Turkey to return.
“The National Unity Party will never accept Turkey leaving here and Turkey’s guarantees ending. Our vote on such agreement will be ‘no’”, he said.
Referring to the tripartite meeting to be held in Berlin on 25 November between the two Cypriot community leaders and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Tatar reiterated that it was an informal meeting and that he did not expect much to come of it.
Referring to the issue of hydrocarbons, Tatar argued that the natural gas discovered in Cyprus’ sea should be “equally administrated”, but the Greek Cypriots cooperated with various countries and suggested that they give the Turkish Cypriots their share of this wealth. Tatar expressed the belief that the struggle of Turkey and Turkish Cypriots on this issue would end successfully because “global norms and the law of the sea will work in their favour”.
Tatar claimed also that the TRNC was a country accepted in the world in spite of the fact that it was not formally recognised and added that students from 140 countries were studying in North Cyprus and that 1.5 million tourists visited it every year.
Responding to a question, Tatar said that a partnership on the basis of federation was not possible and added that the Turkish Cypriots would never accept what he called “the yoke of the Greek Cypriots”. He reiterated that what was possible were the two states in the EU or a “velvet divorce”, that is to say, an agreed separation.
Referring to the issue of Varosha/Maraş, Tatar repeated that it had belonged to a number of religious foundations during the days of Ottoman rule and that some properties had been distributed to Greek Cypriots during British rule. He added: “We will never give this land of our ancestors. After 1974 the case was always that we would return Varosha if there was an agreement. Our government closed this case”.
Tatar said that they wanted to open the area for settlement bit by bit and added that because they did not have money to pay compensation to everybody, they said that they should give the city’s former inhabitants their rights through the Immovable Property Commission (IPC). He reiterated that former residents and the EVKAF religious foundation should apply to the IPC for compensation.