Minister of Foreign Affairs Tahsin Ertugruloğlu has said that the only parties responsible for the failure of the Cyprus Conference in Crans-Montana, the culmination of a 50 year negotiation process, were the Greek Cypriot side, and Greece. He said, “We don’t have any more time to be stolen and lost. This process which has been continuing within the present parameters set by the UN has ended.”
Minister of Foreign Affairs Tahsin Ertugruloğlu was responding to questions on the Cyprus problem during a program on BRT television.
Ertuğruloğlu stressed that statements saying “the Cyprus Conference in Switzerland ended in failure” and “The 50 year negotiation process has ended in failure” are two different things.
He said that these two statements should be well acknowledged, because the Greek Cypriot side and some other parties are claiming that while Conference was unsuccessful, they are ready to continue from where it was left off with the same parameters”. Ertuğruloğlu said that this was a serious mistake and a deception.
Ertuğruloğlu indicated that it was not just the Cyprus Conference which ended in failure in Crans-Montana, but also 50 year long negotiations, as well as the negotiation process within the framework of the UN parameters such as the bi-zonal and bi-communal federal solution based on political equality. Ertuğruloğlu added that he does not mean that these parameters are bad, but that the processes within these parameters had no chance of success.
Ertuğruloğlu said that it is very dangerous and wrong to continue negotiations just for the sake of ‘keeping the 50 year long negotiations ongoing’. Ertuğruloğlu recorded the following:
“Diplomacy will be kept alive in every way. What is important is to determine the main target and parameters of the new negotiation process. If this is not determined in a healthy way, it will not be possible to find a solution. What is criticized in these parameters is Greek Cypriot side’s unwillingness for a solution. We have no equality in these parameters. If equality was protected on an UN-led basis, the Greek Cypriot side would not be alone in being a member of the UN”.
Expressing that the Turkish side, and especially Turkey, conducted a very successful process in Crans-Montana, Ertuğruloğlu said the Turkish Cypriot efforts together with Turkey were received positively by UN, the EU and the UK. Ertuğruloğlu stressed that the negotiation process failed due to the uncompromising attitude of the Greek Cypriot side, insisting on a “0 troops, 0 guarantees” arrangement.
Stressing that a solution is not possible in these parameters, Ertuğruloğlu said “the 50 year negotiation process has ended. If equality is requested, this should be seen at the negotiation table. In other words, negotiations should be held state to state”.
Ertuğruloğlu criticised the statement by the UN Secretary General’s Special Advisor on Cyprus, Espen Barth Eide that the outcome of the Conference was a ‘common failure’ by all sides. He said that is the statement was an injustice for the Turkish Cypriots, because the process has failed entirely due to the Greek Cypriot side’s uncompromising attitude. Ertuğruloğlu also noted that the EU and UN are not objective in Cyprus.
Furthermore, stressing that the Greek Cypriot side should take into consideration the warnings of the Turkish Cypriot side and Turkey on the natural gas issue, Minister Ertuğruloğlu said that the Greek Cypriot side’s statement, “We will give money in case of a solution” is an insult to the Turkish Cypriot people. He explained that the Turkish Cypriot claim was not based on money, but having rights to the natural gas.
Ertuğruloğlu stated that the main aim of the Greek Cypriot side is to remove Turkey’s presence completely from the island, and breaking relations with the Turkish Cypriots. Ertuğruloğlu underlined that the Turkish Cypriots understand the value of 20th July 1974 when we achieved peace in the island, and 15 November 1983, when the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was established.