President Mustafa Akinci has said that the Greek Cypriot side were fearful of upgrading of the status of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
He also said that the United Nations should not bother trying to undertake any initiatives to bring the process back on track if it chooses to act in fear of not offending the Greek Cypriot side.
Speaking in an interview to TAK news agency, the President said that the Turkish Cypriot side was waiting for the Greek Cypriot side to return to a path of logic and rationality.
“We have expressed our views regarding the Enosis decision clearly. I believe that there is no one left who does not understand the negative impact it has created within the Turkish Cypriot community”, he said.
Akinci said that the correct move would be to overturn this decision.
“This is the logical way to go about it. I hope that this will happen soon”, Akinci added.
Asked to comment as to whether the claim that the talks were being stalled due to the upcoming referendum in Turkey was true, the President said that these claims were truly disappointing.
“People have been making all sorts of remarks undermining our political will and criticising me for leaving the talks. Luckily Mr. Eide does not believe this. But what is disappointing is that Mr. Anastasiades is misdirecting his people and that the Greek Cypriots believe these claims”, he added.
Akinci also reminded that it was the Greek Cypriot side and Greece which had requested breaks or postponements in the talks.
“This happened both in Mont Pèlerin and Geneva”, he said, pointing out that Turkey had had made no such request to delay or postpone the talks on grounds that they were going to hold a referendum on the 16th April.
“What Turkey and all the other interested parties are interested in are the contents of a settlement. This is what is going to determine their stance. The basic parameters. These parameters will not change after the referendum. It is wrong to expect such a thing”, the President added.
Touching upon the Enosis vote, President Akinci reminded that the first reaction to the decision had come from him the very next day the vote had taken place.
“The whole of the Turkish Cypriot community condemned this decision. Influential groups within the Greek Cypriot community also condemned this decision. The attempt to undervalue our reaction and request for the decision to be overturned, to claim that this is not the real reason for the impasse but the upcoming referendum in Turkey and to say that Akinci abandoned the table because Turkey told him to do so is by far shameful. It means not knowing us. It is to look down upon the Turkish Cypriot side which will be one of the equal founders of a federal Cyprus”, he said.
Asked to comment on the Greek Cypriot leader’s recent remarks in which he used the terms privileges, as well as majority and minority for the first time, President Akinci said that there was no room for such terms or phrases in a federal settlement.
He said that the UN had determined the basis of a federal settlement in Cyprus years ago, not on the premises of a majority or minority but on political equality.
“As I have told everyone we are not seeking privileges. We are seeking political equality. This is the sine qua non of a federal settlement”, Akinci stressed.
Also underlining the importance of the sustainability of any settlement to be reached, Akinci complained that the Greek Cypriot side had remained unwilling about the implementation of a number of confidence building measures.
“The reason for this is the Greek Cypriot side’s fear of upgrading the status of the Turkish Cypriot side”, he said, adding that there were numerous examples of this during the 22 months of negotiations he had conducted with the Greek Cypriot leader.
“We need to understand whether or not they have the willingness to build cooperation on a number of issues which they have been blocking for the past two years. Otherwise we are fed up with constantly repeating ourselves at the negotiating table. For example how many more times am I going to explain the Turkish Cypriots’ well justified position regarding the issue of active participation in decision making. I too agree that this method is insufficient in producing results. Perhaps it would be more useful if the UN played a more active role, although not as an arbitrator. But if the UN is going to act out of fear of not offending the Greek Cypriots then it should not bother trying to bring the two sides together”, said Akinci.