Monday, 30 January 2023
The next Greek Cypriot leader to be elected should think outside the box and take account of present realities which have evolved after 60 years, President Ersin Tatar said, BRT reported.
The Greek Cypriot leadership elections are to be held on Sunday, 5 February.
In an interview with Greek Cypriot daily ‘Phileleftheros, Tatar reiterated his view that no negotiations will take place between the two Cypriot communities until the sovereign equality of the Turkish Cypriots is recognised.
Tatar said it was important not to lose hope when it comes to the Cyprus Problem but reiterated the Turkish Cypriot side’s position that no official talks can begin until the Turkish Cypriots’ sovereign equality is recognised.
“However we are ready for all forms of dialogue, for meetings, for social gatherings. That is why I am happy to be meeting with Mr Anastasiades before he leaves office. All these meetings could be useful for a solution in the future”, he said.
Tatar noted that security was the most important issue for the Turkish Cypriots and reminded that the arrival of Turkish troops on the island had brought peace and stability to the island.
Tatar said that the Turkish Cypriot side had made a proposition to the Greek Cypriot side for the establishment of a joint committee to discuss the fair distribution of natural resources discovered off the coast of Cyprus over which Turkish Cypriots, as co-founders of the 1960 Cyprus Republic, had a say.
“Unfortunately our Greek Cypriot friends who see us as a minority acted as if they were the owners of the island; they’re telling us they will give us a share in the future”, he said.
“Currently there is peace in Cyprus, there is freedom. Greek Cypriots cross over to the TRNC and Turkish Cypriots to the south. People on both sides are able to enjoy themselves. We have trade and cooperation. We want to improve the lives of people on both sides but the recognition of our sovereign equality is important”, he emphasised
Security and Military Presence
When reminded that Greek Cypriots felt threatened by the presence of Turkish forces in the TRNC, President Ersin Tatar said the following:
”You talk about Turkish troops but the British are here, you have agreements signed with other countries such as France. If you look at the matter realistically you will see that the Turkish army’s only mission and function in Cyprus is to protect the Turkish Cypriots and to maintain regional stability. I believe that the presence of Turkish forces is also important for Greek Cypriots”.
Tatar said that contrary to claims, the Turkish Cypriot side desired a settlement and cooperation with the Greek Cypriots.
Referring to Turkey’s importance as an actor in the region, he said that international developments and changes should also be taken into consideration.