Foreign Minister Tahsin Ertuğruloğlu said that the Turkish Cypriot side does not avoid the negotiations , but that they want a negotiation process that has a chance of success.
Ertuğruloğlu stated that negotiations have been ongoing for 50 years under the same conditions, and the Turkish Cypriot people are tired of living in such uncertainty, isolated from the international community and suffering from the effects of the embargo.
Pointing out that an agreement cannot be reached if the Turkish Cypriot side is considered a society while the Greek Cypriot side is considered a state, Ertuğruloğlu said, “We are ready for a partnership but as a state, not as a community”.
Speaking at a programme on BRT 1, Ertuğruloğlu evaluated the Cyprus negotiations process, which is foreseen to resume on 11 April 11 and answered a few questions.
Stating that the resumption of negotiations depends on the Greek Cypriot Parliament’s decision on Enosis to be taken on Friday, 7 April, Ertuğruloğlu said that he doesn’t believe the Greek Cypriot Parliament will revoke the Enosis decision.
The statements about the “minority” and the “majority” should not be ignored
Ertuğruloğlu also said that it is not enough to revoke the Enosis decision in order to resume negotiations. He stressed that the Enosis decision is not the only problem and that the Greek Cypriot leader’s statements saying that “the minority could not be equated to the majority” are being ignored and should not be.
“Political equality is our main principle”
Ertuğruloğlu also stressed that the Greek Cypriot leader should apologise for referring to the Turkish Cypriot people as a minority, and he should acknowledge that the Turkish Cypriot people are equal to the Greek Cypriot people in the island.
Stating that the Greek Cypriot side stalled the negotiations but did not pay the price for it, Ertuğruloğlu said that if the Greek Cypriot side does not change their mentality and does not give up the idea of Cyprus as a Hellenic island, the negotiating process will be no different to what it has been over the last 50 years and nothing will be achieved.
The objective of the Greek Cypriot side
Stating that the main objective of the Greek Cypriot side is to continue indefinitely with the negotiation process, Ertuğruloğlu pointed out that the Greek Cypriot side felt uncomfortable when the negotiations were stalled because their aim was to prevent the Turkish Cypriot side from making any decision.
Ertuğruloğlu continued as follows: “We have different views of the Cyprus problem. The Greek Cypriots see the 1974 events as an ‘occupation’ and want to get rid of Turkey and control the whole island.
“There is a national case here. This is not only the case of the Turkish Cypriot people, but also that of the Turkish nation. The reality in Cyprus will not change after 500 years.
“Enosis is the basis of the Cyprus problem. The 1974 events were caused by Enosis, yet it prepared the ground for the solution.
“The Greek Cypriot side supports Enosis, and that is why they took the decision at their parliament. They wouldn’t have taken this decision if they thought that people would react the way they did. What difference does it make to transfer the decision-making power to the Ministry of Education? The Enosis dream is sacred for them, it is indispensable.
“We won’t give up the guarantee of Turkey as our security, and they will not accept this. So there is little ground to negotiate.”
Ertuğruloğlu: What are we going to negotiate?
Ertuğruloğlu continued, “The Greek Cypriot side has no intention to hold another referendum, neither to say ‘Yes’ to the agreement or to say ‘No’ for a second time. So considering this, what can we negotiate?”
Stressing that even if the TRNC were to be recognised as a state, it can only be successful with Ankara’s support. Ertuğruloğlu continued: “We must put it on the agenda. Considering what I have seen in our people, we must aim for recognition if a solution is not reached. But we should consult with the Motherland, as we cannot succeed without the Motherland’s support. “