EU Has Deepened Divisions in Cyprus

The EU has become a tool for “the Greek Cypriot side’s wrong policies”, President Mustafa Akinci has said.

The president, who was addressing the 14th Avtepe Tulip Festival on Sunday, was referring to the summit between the EU and Turkey which was held in Varna on Monday.

The Turkish Cypriots want improvement of Turkey’s relations with the EU because this will be not only good both for Turkey and the EU but for Cyprus as well.

He argued that the Turkish Cypriots want peace in the world and good relations “with the other half of the island”.

We do not want to experience tension in our seas. We want to act with an approach by which everybody to demand their rights [and] shares power, the common state, the wealth and everything with an equal understanding”, he said. Akinci said that he feld the need to remind ahout this because he felt that the EU has become an enabler of he wrong-headed polices of the Greek Cypriot side. The EU had driven further the wedge between the two Cypriots communities, he argued.

Akinci said that the EU took a decision a few days ago and condemned Turkey because of its attitude, which is aimed at “protecting the rights of the Turkish Cypriot people in the Eastern Mediterranean”. He asked: “What else can be expected from Turkey in an environment in which the Turkish Cypriot people are ignored? We say come and let us discuss the natural gas issue, let us establish a joint committee and they say to us no, this is our sovereign right. They say that in the future we will open an account for you and deposit an amount of money for you. Can this be such an understanding of partnership?

Akinci reiterated the Turkish side’s view that the Turkish Cypriots should have participated from the planning stage up to the point of extracting the natural gas offshore the island and pointed out that this is necessary for turning Cyprus into an island of peace and stability, building bridges of peace and turning the area into a sea of stability.

A peace project cannot be built on the island by excluding Turkey and by ignoring the rights of the Turkish Cypriot people both on the issue of political power and the natural resources, he argued

The EU cannot contribute to this peace project by behaving in this manner”, Akinci said, adding:

I wish for the messages which we send from here to be correctly understood. Otherwise, it is not possible to succeed by continuing the understanding that ‘we took Resolutions from the UN, we excluded the Turkish Cypriots, we condemned Turkey, and now we use the EU platform and achieve the same so-called successes, we condemn Turkey in the EU, we managed to ignore the Turkish Cypriots’ rights’. What will be achieved by such a mentality is the further establishment of the division on this island.

Halkin Sesi

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