The main reason for the collapse of the four-party coalition government, after being in power for 15 months, is the fact that its relations with the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Turkey “had irreparably deteriorated”. In an opinion piece written by Turkish Cypriot journalist Metin Munir, he notes that the same level of deterioration exists in AKP’s relations with Turkish Cypriot President Mustafa Akinci. “The AKP thinks that Akinci has targets in the [Cyprus] negotiations which are not realistic and not agreed with Turkey”, writes the columnist adding:
“Relations between Erdogan and Akinci have, for a long time, been cold. Erdogan, who does not know that the judiciary is independent in Cyprus, is offended by Akinci because he did not sent a journalist to prison [Sener Levent, owner of Turkish Cypriot daily ‘Afrika’, who re-published a cartoon offensive to Erdogan].
The four-party coalition will be most probably be substituted by a two-party coalition. It is expected that the new government will be much more in harmony with AKP on the inter-communal talks and other issues important to Turkey”.
According to the columnist, the two-party coalition government will be established between the National Unity Party (UBP) and the People’s Party (HP) led by Ersin Tatar and Kudret Ozersay respectively. Citing reliable sources, Munir says that Tatar and Ozersay had shaken hands when the four-party coalition started to disintegrate and that the UBP would support Ozersay in the presidential elections to be held next year. He notes:
“If this project, which Turkey fully supports, is materialised, it will kill two birds with one stone:
“In Tatar’s personality, the TRNC will acquire a prime minister who is honest and well-intended and knows economy very well.
“As to Ozersay’s personality, if he is elected, it will acquire a president who will carry out the peace talks with the Greek Cypriots in the direction which Turkey wants.
“Turkey will support the new coalition by increasing the financial aid it provides to the island”.
For some time now, the AKP had cut its monetary aid to the Turkish Cypriots in order to show its discontent towards Akinci and the four-party coalition and it had not even paid their defence expenses, Munir argues.
Turkey’s impression is that Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades has come to the point of discussing a two-state solution on the island. Akinci and the major partner in the four-party coalition, the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), do not share the same view. They think that Anastasiades is playing a new game and they continue to support a federal solution. Ankara thinks that federation is an unattainable target now. What is considered in its place is an agreed separation, two separate, adjacent states.