President Mustafa Akinci has said that he is making efforts to secure the best possible solution for his people in the Cyprus negotiations. He added that appreciation and support for this “well-intentioned” effort has been included in the Resolutions of the UN Security Council and the European Parliament.
In an interview with Kibris Postasi, Akinci was asked to comment on criticism made against him by Alpay Durduran, member of the council of the New Cyprus Party (YKP), who had reportedly said that there has been no development in the Cyprus talks and that Akinci’s stance is a misleading. He was also asked to comment on what former Presdient Dervis Eroglu had reportedly said. Eroglu has said that the people will be dragged through the courts over the property issue.
Akinci replied that it is not easy to say that a solution will definitely be reached, but “I am working with our negotiating team and will continue with all my power for the 2016 to be the year for a solution”. He argued that the best and beneficial thing for everyone to do for their community is to contribute to this effort. He noted that it is wrong to ignore the positive developments which have been observed, even by the UN and EU institutions and spread pessimism.
Explaining his position on the property issue, Akinci reiterated the following:
“The right to apply and the right of ownership are different things. The pre-1974 owner will of course be able to use their right to apply. For example, if a person who lived in a property in the North before 1974 and after the solution wants to live under the Turkish Cypriot Founding State Administration in the same house, if he prefers this instead of compensation or another choice, what could be more natural than declaring this preference?
However, even though they are few in number, when this kind of demand is assessed, the position of the current occupier will be important, of course.
We have no intention to bring a person, who lived in the above-mentioned house for some years before 1974, face to face with a family of refugees, which left its property in the South and lived in this house for many years and let them rush to the courts. Within this framework, it is extremely important that the criteria are clear and the right of ownership is not ambiguous.
In this example, it is indisputable that priority will be given to the ownership rights of the current occupant.”