Akinci’s Speech on Peace and Freedom Day

President Mustafa Akıncı said that the Turkish Cypriot people want peace, justice, stability and prosperity not only for Cyprus but the entire region.

In a live televised address to the nation to mark the launch of celebrations marking the 45th anniversary of the July 20 Peace Operation, the President questioned how much longer will the Greek Cypriot leadership’s intransigence on the Cyprus Problem continue.

The Greek Cypriot side needs to decide. Will it be able to come to terms with the equality, security and freedom of both communities? Will it share the island’s administration and wealth? Will it come to terms with a viable solution or does it want to render the partition on the island permanent?” asked Akıncı.

Akıncı recalled that Turkey’s timely military intervention in July 20, 1974, which had followed the coup carried out in Cyprus by Greece five days earlier, had not only prevented the island’s union with Greece but also laid the foundations of a new bi-communal, bi-zonal structure that will enable both communities to live in equality and security.

He, however, pointed out that efforts to reach a solution have not been successful for the past 45 years due to the Greek Cypriot side’s negative stance.

Touching upon the rising tensions over hydrocarbons in the region, President Akıncı reminded that he had proposed to the Greek Cypriot leadership to set up a joint committee for the co-management of the island’s natural wealth.

He said that similar proposals had been presented in 2011 and that the latest proposal was an improved nine- point version prepared in consultation with the government and Turkey.

Our proposal aimed for the two sides to refrain from unilateral activities and to act together. Since it is accepted that these resources belong to all of us then we should exploit them together through a joint committee,” he said.

Akıncı said that the Greek Cypriot side had unfortunately rejected his proposal and was refraining from dialogue and cooperation by abusing its international recognition.

The TRNC and Turkey are left with no choice under these circumstances but to carry out similar actions to reset the balance,” he said.

Akıncı added that Cyprus and the region could become a beacon of peace and stability through joint understanding and cooperation.

The President said that the Turkish Cypriot side’s diplomatic efforts will also continue.

He said that his proposal rejected by the Greek Cypriots had also been conveyed to the international community, to the UN and EU.

We shall be using our diplomatic channels to the very end,” Akıncı added.

President Akıncı pointed out that he will be meeting with the Greek Cypriot leader soon and that he was asking for clarification regarding the Greek Cypriot side’s position.

I have requested the UN Secretary-General to convene an informal five-party meeting to discuss these issues. Ankara’s expectation is for such a meeting to be conducted as soon as possible,” he said.

Akıncı said that the Turkish Cypriot side wants clarity from the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades.

We see that this is also a growing desire among many members of the Greek Cypriot community. What does the Greek Cypriot leader want? What is his goal? What kind of a future does he envisage in Cyprus? Different statements at different venues or events should end. He sometimes voices a two-state solution and a decentralised federation on another day. His talk for a parliamentary system with a permanent Greek Cypriot president and Turkish Cypriot vice-president and rotating prime minister instead of a rotational presidency has created confusion. How much more will the Greek Cypriot leader’s mixed messages continue? All these questions need to be answered at the informal five-party meeting I have requested the UN-Secretary General Antonio Guterres to convene,” he concluded.


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