Turkish Cypriots will not abandon bi-zonality: Eroglu

Turkish Cypriot daily ‘Kibris’ newspaper reports that the Turkish Cypriot President, Dervis Eroglu has reiterated that the Turkish Cypriots are not considering abandoning their self-administration, bi-zonality and Turkey’s active and effective guarantees. In statements during the celebrations on the occasion of the 39th anniversary of the partition of Famagusta, Eroglu stated that “we believe that by asking [for]these, no harm is done to the Greek Cypriot people”.

Noting that the ground on which the last round of negotiations were held and the distance covered in the discussions is documented, Eroglu called on the Greek Cypriot side to continue the negotiations from the point where they were left and argued that reaching an agreement would not be difficult, if the Turkish Cypriots’ having equal rights with the Greek Cypriots on the island was accepted.

“Come and let us sit at the table in the beginning of October and sign an agreement within 2014”, he said.

Meanwhile, ‘Kibris’ reports also that Eroglu argued that reaching an agreement would be easy if all concessions demanded by the Greek Cypriots are given. He added that if the Greek Cypriots arrived at “the path of reason and peace”, an agreement would be possible. “However, it could not be said that we are hopeful, when we see their demands and the steps they take that have become more intensive during the past few days”, he added.

The president argued that UN Secretary-General’s special adviser, Alexander Downer has submitted a 77-page document with the issues on which the sides had agreed during the last round of negotiations, adding that President Anastasiades has not given a positive response to this document.

Eroglu reiterated his view that there are “two different peoples and two states” in Cyprus, which have different languages, religions and “geographies on which they are sovereign”.

Referring to the information that Greek Prime Minister Samaras had discussed the issue of the abandoned town of Maras with the President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, Eroglu said that “instead of Samaras asking for Maras to be given to them in advance, let him come and meet with us at the negotiating table and listen to us”.

He suggested that what Greece should do is to “encourage the Greek Cypriot side to come to reason”. He reiterated that the proposal of the Turkish side for a five-party meeting with the participation of the Turkish Cypriot side, the Greek Cypriot side and the three guarantor powers of the Republic of Cyprus is still valid.

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