President Mustafa Akinci has announced that he will be running for re-election in the presidential elections to be held on 26 April. Akinci is the fifth contender after Tufan Erhurman (CTP), Prime Minister Ersin Tatar (UBP), Kudret Ozersay (Independent) and Erhan Arikli (YDP).
Referring to the Cyprus issue, Akinci said he did not seek to consolidate the status quo by running after “unfulfilled dreams” and added that “if a problem continues somewhere, the search for a solution will continue”. Noting that for the first time since 1960, a five-day international conference was held [Crans-Montana 2017], Akinci said that the Turkish Cypriot side had played no role in the loss of that “historic opportunity”. He said that the Greek Cypriot side has taken a position that is dubious on the issue of political equality and added that as time goes by and generations pass, the younger generations become more alienated.
Referring to his critics, Akinci said:
“There are some who are trying to dissuade me by making headlines about me in relation to the two-state solution. It is said that even the Greek Cypriot side has accepted the two-state solution, that I do not want it and that I do not agree to discuss anything other than federation. If the Greek Cypriot side wants to discuss the two-state solution, we will sit down to discuss it. What is important to us is what the Greek Cypriot side accepts before the United Nations. A negotiation for a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation emerged in Berlin. What seems feasible is the bi-communal bi-zonal federation.
“I do not see a two-state solution in the foreseeable future. Either we will take this path with a fair approach or the division will continue and the dependence on the Turkish Cypriot side will increase. We don’t want that. […]
“Even today, Turkey does not do what it needs to recognize the TRNC. It also does not fulfil what is needed for non-recognition of southern Cyprus. We do not want to be a minority in southern Cyprus, nor a subordinate administration of Turkey, constantly dependent upon her.”