President Mustafa Akıncı addressed the Conference of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey and the Economic Development Foundation in Istanbul on Thursday.
Akıncı summarised the two-year negotiation process in his speech. He said:
“The reluctance of the Greek Cypriot leadership in particular and the power of the Greek Cypriot community have prevented us from reaching a solution to the Cyprus problem. What happens after that, of course, continues to be on the agenda.
“It has to be known that there is no intention to continue this way for another 50 years on the Cyprus problem. All those who are interested are exhausted.
“Mostly the Turkish Cypriot have been victimised. The need for solutions in Cyprus has not changed. As the problem continues, the need for resolution continues.
“To begin with, I think there is a need for a very serious transformation of mindset on the Greek Cypriot side. The presidential election will take place in the new year. These elections must be a period of serious questioning about what they really want. Will they see the sharing of authority as a great compromise in a federal solution or will they be able to digest it? Do they really believe in a Cyprus based on equality or are they seeing it as a temporary stopgap?
“We will meet with the UN Secretary General next week in New York. Our thoughts are clear. We are not going to give up our solution-oriented politics. But we have no intention of re-entering into an open, endless process. It is pointless to wait for a solution while there is an election on the Greek side. It will be shaped according to the outcome from that. Life does not stop.
“I remember our martyrs who lost their lives in a coup attempt in Turkey on July 15th a year ago. As the Turkish Cypriot people who have taken their stand on the first day, besides the civilian administration against the coup d’état, it is our greatest wish that Turkey’s wounds will be healed. It is my sincere hope that this parallel structure within the state will be eliminated by democracy and law and it will be achieved as soon as possible.
“As business people and politicians gathered here, I believe that as stakeholders, one of our many common goals stakeholders is the EU standard. We, the Turkish Cypriots, want you to realise this goal for a better quality of life for Turkey. We want the food we consume to be healthier, the environment better, a more humane order based on law, democratic rules instead of arbitrariness. In short, we aim for a life that values humanity.
“We should not give up on these goals. I think that the Turkish Cypriots have not given up the goal for a solution.
“I think it is important for the Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Commerce, the Southern Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Turkish Chamber of Commerce and the Nicosia Economic Forum, held by Greek authorities, to maintain their energy in this period.
“There have been various reforms that have needed be implemented in the TRNC for years; it is crucial that previously taken decisions should not be forgotten by leaving them on dusty shelves. The need, inevitably, is to create a stronger economic and democratic structure.”