Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu believes a negotiated solution to the Cyprus problem is possible based on the compromise of both sides, saying the Turkish Cypriots showed their willingness for reconciliation, “now the ball is in the Greek Cypriot side’s court.”
“The main reason for not finding a solution to the Cyprus issue is the lack of political will on the Greek Cypriot side,” Çavuşoğlu told Greek Cypriot daily ‘Phileleftheros’ yesterday, referring to the solution initiatives refused by the Greek Cypriot side.
“The Macmillan Plan in 1958, Acheson Plan in 1964, two-party regulation in 1975, Perez de Cuellar indicators in 1983, Boutros-Ghali’s initiative in 1992, Annan Plan in 2004 were just a few of them,” he said.
“As a result, it has been the Greek Cypriots, not the Turkish Cypriots or Turkey, who have rejected countless UN-mandated attempts for decades, including the Annan Plan. What prevents the Greek Cypriots from seeing the Turkish Cypriots as equal political partners? Isn’t it important to reach an applicable and sustainable solution?” Çavuşoğlu said.
“We, as Turkey, will certainly continue to give full support to the solution process,” he added.
Turkish Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu also accused the Greek Cypriot side of “constantly misinterpreting the situation”.
“A negotiated solution will be based on the compromise of both sides. The Turkish Cypriots [already] showed their willingness towards reconciliation. Now the ball is definitely in the Greek Cypriot side’s court,” he said.
Asked about Turkey’s military presence on the island as a guarantor country, Çavuşoğlu said there was a reason for keeping Turkish forces on the island, “otherwise, there might be many problems in the long run”.
“In 1963-1974, Greek Cypriots caused the 1960 Partnership State to collapse, initiated ethnic cleansing activities against the Turkish Cypriots and tried to enforce Enosis,” Çavuşoğlu said stressing that the bloodshed on the island came to an end after Turkey intervened.
“The development that brought democracy back to Greek Cypriot side was also Turkey’s intervention,” he said.
On the issue of natural gas, the Turkish foreign minister reminded that the Turkish side had made a call to share the island’s natural resources for the benefit of everyone and to establish an ad-hoc committee to deal with this issue.
“However the Greek Cypriot side rejected this offer as it refuses to recognise the Turkish Cypriots as joint partners of the island,” he noted.