Joining the EU will not provide sufficient guarantees for the Turkish Cypriots’ security, President Akinci has said.
Addressing a meeting at the Near East University (YDU), he said that the Turkish Cypriots demand freedom, equality and security and added that they see their security in Turkey’s guarantees.
Akinci said that the two sides should not try to persuade each other about the security issue. The Greek Cypriots should not perceive Turkey’s security guarantees for the Turkish Cypriots as a threat. “When we ask to feel secure, there is no need for our safety to be considered as constituting a threat for the other side”, he argued.
He pointed out that the existence of the Turkish Cypriot people and perceived threat by Turkey, had not come from nothing. He pointed to 1963 and 1974 and that the “dream of enosis” [unification with Greece] and the Akritas plan had led to “undesirable developments”. Akinci went on to say that every action by Turkey definitely had a distinct reason; noting that if the Greek junta had not staged a coup on 15th July 1974, Turkey would not have landed its troops on the island five days later.
President Akinci also expressed the view that conveying natural gas and Israeli electricity to Europe through Turkey and sharing the water from Turkey across the entire island, could create a new understanding and model for security issues.
Akinci said that the issues of guarantees and security have not been discussed in detail in the negotiations, and added that these will be discussed at a five-party conference at the very end, with the participation of Turkey, Greece, and the United Kingdom. He noted that until that time, they will determine what will be guaranteed.
He further noted that the Turkish Cypriots, inspired by how they lived and their past experiences, are searching for common ground which could be considered reasonable and acceptable by both sides. “Of course we are doing this in consultation with Turkey”, he said, adding that Turkish Cypriots want and will continue to want security, “because we are the side which is in the minority”.
Akinci also expressed the view that if a bi-zonal, bi-communal agreement acceptable to both sides emerges, Turkey’s guarantees will continue for the Turkish Cypriots. This is in order for this agreement to be accepted and in a way which the Greek Cypriots will not feel threatened and could agree upon.