GC’s want neither marriage nor divorce: Eroglu

The unilateral declaration of independence (UDI) proclaimed by the TRNC is “null and void”, the South Cyprus Foreign Ministry stated in a press release on Saturday.

On the occasion of the UDI’s 30th anniversary, the South Cyprus Foreign Ministry declared that “a Cyprus solution remains our unwavering goal”, calling at the same time on Ankara to contribute to this effort.

The UDI “reveals Turkey’s expansionist and partitionist designs at the expense of the Republic of Cyprus and confirms its attempts to legalise the ‘fait accompli’ of the Turkish invasion”, the press release says.

The South’s Foreign Ministry adds that the continuation of this “illegal act” for 30 years shows Ankara’s intransigence and its disrespect to relevant UN Security Council resolutions, which condemn the UDI and ask for it to be revoked.

The South’s Foreign Ministry stresses that “a Cyprus solution remains our unwavering goal in the framework of a bizonal, bicommunal federation, with political equality, according to UN SC resolutions, with a single sovereignty, single citizenship, and single international personality.”

However, repeated rounds of talks, under UN auspices, have yielded no concrete result.

In advance of another round of UN-sponsored peace negotiations, the Greek Cypriots have insisted that a joint statement be issued by the heads of both republics which will outline the basis of the talks.

So far, neither side have been able to agree on fundamentals, thus stalling the commencement of further talks.

President Eroglu has frequently declared that there is no need for and no UN resolution which says that a joint statement must to be agreed ahead of talks.

The TRNC President has pointed out that the creation of a single nation composed of Turkish and Greek Cypriots is impossible, adding that if both sides cannot reach a solution then it would be best to remain “friends” whilst maintaining their respective sovereignties.

“It’s true that the Greek Cypriots do not want to marry us or get a divorce. Then what can happen is that the Greek Cypriots will live in the south and we’ll live in the north. We can’t create a nation from these two communities in Cyprus,” President, told a group visiting journalists on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the foundation of the independent Turkish Cypriot state.

He reminded everyone that Turkish and Greek Cypriots had been engaged in peace talks since the late 1970s, producing two important documents, one in 1988 during Perez de Cuellar’s term as U.N. secretary-general and the other in 2004 during Kofi Annan’s term. “Both of them were rejected by the Greek Cypriots,” Eroglu said.

On the eve of the 30th anniversary of the foundation of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Eroglu was both working to convince his Greek Cypriot counterparts to re-launch the talks at the same time, coordinating preparations for the 30th anniversary of his republic.

The TRNC was declared an independent state on 15th November, 1983, by late President Rauf Denktash, only nine years after Turkey’s intervention on the island; since which time, it has been recognised only by Turkey.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on the two parties to start a new round for resolving the decades-old problem in September, but although both parties have responded positively, it has not been possible to launch negotiations due to Greek Cyprus’ impositions of pre-conditions.

 “This is the first time that we have faced pre-conditions to begin talks. First, they have asked for the return of Varosha [in Famagusta] from us. What we told them is that Varosha was part of the comprehensive settlement and it will be discussed under the territory chapter,” said Eroglu.

The second Greek Cypriot pre-condition was the issuance of a joint statement underlining the fundamentals of upcoming talks, he said.

 “We told them it was not necessary. But we accepted the proposal. And we also accepted a draft written by Alexander Downer [Ban’s special envoy], but it was rejected by Greek Cypriots. And unfortunately we could not start talks,” Eroglu said. “We’re stuck at the point of preparing the joint statement. I think it’s another trick of the Greek Cypriots to gain time.”

President Eroglu believes that not only is time being wasted but this is also a ploy in order to avoid the creation of a new partnership state.

 “What he [Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades] wants is to transform the existing Republic of Cyprus into a federal state. Therefore, they do not want a solution on the basis on two equal constituent states but an evolution of the current state,” Eroglu said. “This cannot be done because there are currently two sovereign states on the island.”

South Cyprus President Anastasiades has already responded by saying that it is not possible for two sovereign, completely self-determining states to exist in a confederation, adding that no-one had ever heard of such a thing.

“Greek Cypriot leader Anastasiades wants to engage in a give-and-take process but he only wants to take without giving anything,” Eroglu said.

 “The Cypriot negotiations are 50 years old. The whole world and the Greek Cypriots should be aware that no one can keep the Turkish Cypriots at the table for another 50 years,” he concluded.

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