Mustafa Akinci held a meeting at his office with government and opposition party leaders on Saturday in order to brief them on the ongoing work on the Cyprus negotiations and to hear their views.
The meeting was attended by the leader of the National Unity Party (UBP) Prime Minister Ersin Tatar, the leader of the main opposition Republican Turkish Party (CTP) Tufan Erhürman, the leader of the People’s Party (HP) Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay, the leader of the Democratic Party (DP) Serdar Denktash, the leader of the Social Democratic Party (TDP) Cemal Özyigit and the leader of the Rebirth Party (YDP) Erhan Arikli.
Presidential undersecretary Gürdal Hüdaoglu and Akinci’s spokesman Baris Burucu accompanied President Akinci during the meeting.
Making a statement after the meeting, Prime Minister ErsinTatar said that an attempt was being made to give the impression that the Crans-Montana process was continuing. He added that as the National Unity Party they did not believe such a process would be successful, adding: “This is a process. They will go back and forth. They have not met with guarantor countries. We will follow the developments closely”. Tatar said he would evaluate the discussions with Mrs Lute with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavusoglu on Monday.
Tatar further said that Akinci had informed them that Lute was being persistent and trying to manoeuvre the two sides to come closer together but that nothing concrete had yet been achieved, adding that they would wait and see what developments will take place. “When you look into the details you can see that there are no serious proposals”, Tatar said.
The leader of HP and Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay, for his part, said that there had been no changes in the conditions of the Cyprus issue, adding: “First of all the leader of the Greek Cypriot administration is not ready to share anything with us and there has been no change in his mentality. Second of all there has also been no change in the Greek Cypriot side’s stance on open–ended talks. These two issues are very important. As there are no changes in the conditions, the current state continues and to enter talks about a federation in an open ended way would be a grave mistake. To continue as is would mean to continue negotiations as though nothing has changed”.
Noting that there was a need for change in the Greek Cypriot mentality otherwise it would mean to trap the Turkish Cypriot side in a vicious circle, Özersay said that they would be following developments closely.
The leader of the main opposition party CTP Erhürman, commenting on the statement made by the UN which removed the arguments over political equality on the island, said that they supported negotiations taking place that were not open-ended and result oriented. He added that these were also the points that Akinci focused on. He further said that as the CTP they supported Akinci throughout this process and are waiting to see if these efforts will lead to an outcome. “At the end of September there will be a meeting in New York, there is also a possibility of a tripartite meeting, therefore these efforts are important so that this process can be successful”, Erhürman concluded.
The leader of the DP Serdar Denktash, said that although Akinci had briefed them currently there was nothing substantial. Adding that they had been discussing a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation for 50 years, Denktash said that it had become clear that they could not achieve anything from these discussions, adding that they as the Democratic Party would be watching developments closely.
The leader of the TDP Özyigit said that they believed that important progress had been made and added that the UN Secretary-General would be meeting with the two leaders separately and hopefully this will lead to new developments. He further said: “Political equality and active participation in decision making, and a process that is not open–ended is our greatest hope”.
Lastly the leader of YDP Arikli, speaking to the press, said that they as the YDP had informed Akinci regarding their concerns and said that they were concerned that Akinci’s spokesman Baris Burcu had remained silent regarding the reportedly manipulative statements made in South Cyprus regarding the Turkish Cypriot side.