Oktay, who was addressing the Union of Turkish Bar Associations said that “Despite our initiatives, the Greek Cypriot side which continues to see itself as the sole owner of the island, has left the island with no solution under a new federal partnership”,
The two-day panel event held in Ankara and organised by the Union of Turkish Bar Associations, was titled ‘Last Word on Cyprus’ .
Stating that, currently, it is necessary for new ideas to be put forward, Oktay added that the Greek Cypriots’ mentality of trying to present the Turkish Cypriots as a de facto minority on the island is still there and has not changed. “The most concrete proof of that is the fact that they ignore the equal rights of the Turkish Cypriots on the natural resources”, he said.
The Turkish Vice President went on to say that a solution to the Cyprus problem “should not be based on political equality but on sovereign equality. The concept of sovereign equality needs to be accepted before any new talks can begin. It is necessary to accept all elements not of political equality but of political and sovereign equality. The Greek Cypriot side should honestly say how it visualises a possible solution. And in case all elements of political equality are accepted, it should be decided how to move forward. If not, instead of political equality, we will declare the formation of two sovereign states”, he argued.
Oktay made also statements on the drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean and the fenced- off city of Maraş/Varosha.
On the issue of hydrocarbons, Oktay said that “Turkey will not remain passive in the face the Greek Cypriot side’s attempts to claim the island’s resources for itself”.
Touching upon the issue of Maraş/Varosha, Oktay said:
“Maraş will be opened by returning property in a just manner in light of historical documents”. He further argued that nobody deems proper the minority status of the Turkish Cypriots who are co-owners in the island. “We will never accept this, neither will the Turkish Cypriots”, Oktay warned.
Abandoned after the passing of a 1984 UN Security Council resolution, the reopening of Maraş was announced by the Turkish Cypriot authorities on June 18.