Prime Minister Tufan Erhurman said that there was a struggle required in two directions simultaneous. Not only for the solution of the Cyprus problem but for the economic and social development of the TRNC and the Turkish Cypriots.
The prime minister was in Istanbul to deliver a speech on the second day of the 9th Bosphorus Summit.
The prime minister stressed the importance of political equality between Turkish and Greek Cypriots. After the latest developments from President Nicos Anastasiades, it had become even more evident that there was a fundamental problem at the heart of the Cyprus Issue.
He noted that, despite the surprise openings made by Turkey at the Cyprus Conference in Crans-Montana in 2017, both sides returned from the Conference without any results.
Referring to President Anastasiades’ proposal on a “loose federation”, Erhurman said that this concept did not worry the Turkish Cypriots, since it is a model that provides more authority to the founding states. Erhurman added the following:
“But after he explained why he is submitting this proposal, the issue became clearer. What he has said is the following: “It was a proposal which was made so as to come to the position where the Turkish Cypriots would not have effective participation in the decision making organs of the founding states”. The meaning of this proposal, in one sense, was that it would provide the Turkish Cypriots the rights that would have been given to a minority. Our response to Anastasiades, not only coming from Turkey but also from the TRNC, the president of the TRNC, the foreign minister and the prime minister, was that this could not be accepted. Political equality and the effective participation of the Turkish Cypriots in the decision-making organs is a sine qua non for us. These issues are of vital importance to us”.
Erhurman argued that in order for a state to be functional, neither of the sides should be excluded from the decision-making process.
Also referring to the 1960 Cyprus Republic in his speech, Erhurman said that despite the fact that the 1960 Republic was a partnership; an understanding that everything on the island should be shared was never allowed to take root.
He said also that the Turkish Cypriot side’s calls for sustainable peace fell on deaf ears. “Had the island been reunified with the 2004 referendum, the current hydrocarbon crisis would not have emerged and the island’s wealth would have been shared fairly today. However, despite the fact the Greek Cypriots rejected the plan, they became an EU member and the opportunity was lost”, Erhurman said.
Regarding the dispute over hydrocarbons offshore Cyprus, Erhurman said that if the natural wealth around the island is distributed to both sides, then these natural resources could serve both sides, but if it is not shared, it would become the source of tension.
Only by sharing the island’s resources would there be a settlement to the Cyprus problem, he said.
Yeni Duzen, BRT