We Can Change Status Quo in Cyprus: Nami

North Cyprus News - Ozdil Nami
[Ozdil Nami – Former Foreign Minster and Chief Negotiator]
Sunday, 1 October 2023 

This government has no intention of ending the status quo, former Minister of Foreign Affairs, former MP and former negotiator in the Cyprus talks, Özdil Nami said, Yeniduzen reports.

In a lengthy interview with the newspaper Nami said that it was, however, possible to end the status quo if the will was there.

Quoting former British Foreign Minister Jack Straw, Nami said, “The current government has no intention of ending the status quo. If the main goal was to end the status quo, there is a way.

We made a mistake by admitting the Greek Cypriots to the EU on their own. We have lost our ability to put pressure on them. At this point, there is only one way to re-establish this pressure. Negotiations should be resumed, but if they say ‘no’ again, we must tell the Greek Cypriots in advance that the TRNC will be recognised“.

 Asked why the Turkish side did not submit Straw’s proposal to the UN, Nami pointed out that this proposal would end the status quo.

“’We will continue where we left off, we will finish it and tell the Greek Cypriot people, ‘This is the comprehensive solution plan issued by the Cypriot leaders. Do you accept or reject this? Federation if you accept, velvet divorce if you reject. We say ‘make the choice’. This way the status quo ends. Failure to do so shows that those who govern us are not interested in ending the status quo. On the contrary, they want to maintain the status quo. They do not say this openly and try to cover their intentions with the flag and nationalist speeches“, he said.

Emphasising the importance of dialogue, Özdil Nami said:

We claim that recognition and the two-state solution are in the interest of both us and the Greeks. Shouldn’t we talk around a table, like civilised people, to convince them? People solve the problem either through violence or through dialogue, there is no other way. Since we won’t use violence, why don’t we use dialogue and wait? Who do we expect from? If we are not going to convince by talking, we need to get others to convince the Greek side by talking“.

Nami went on to point out how isolated the Turkish Cypriot delegation was at the UN General Assembly recently held in New York. He said that he did not agree with President Talat’s description of his trip there as “successful”.

We are faced with a situation where the isolation of the Turkish Cypriot people is increasing. This is the first time we’ve been this lonely. When we look at past visits and compare the meetings held then with the current situation, a huge difference stands out. Unfortunately, the officials who represent us there are not accepted by the world at all, their room for manoeuvre is very limited. The Minister of Foreign Affairs only met with representatives of Azerbaijan and Pakistan. Of course, routinely, with some officials of the UN… I have not seen a concrete picture that would justify the statement “it was successful”. On the contrary, I saw a picture in which the isolation of us increased and our loneliness became deeper. This is not a good thing”.

Asked if it was possible to change the status quo, Nami said the following:

Yes, it is possible to get rid of the status quo. We need to ensure cooperation and coordination with Türkiye on this issue. What Turkey should do is not to intervene in our schools, our judiciary, or our citizenship policy. Our only expectation from Turkey is that it conveys this view to the world and demands it, that is, Turkey says, ‘Cyprus negotiations should start again, but the Greek Cypriots should also decide’. Help us to sit at the table with such a setup. This should be our only expectation from Turkey

Our officials told Turkey that the Turkish Cypriot people can no longer tolerate the status quo. We also need to integrate with the world. So help us, let’s put the pressure on the Greek side. This can only be done by forcing them to choose between these two options, a federation or two states…”

For full interview click here Yeniduzen

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