PRESS AND INFORMATION OFFICE
Akinci on the Cyprus problem, the occupied fenced off Vasosha and the hydrocarbons
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Yeni Düzen (21.06.19, http://www.yeniduzen.com/cumhurbaskani-bostan-korkulugu-degil-116166h.htm) publishes on its website statements made by Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, during a Press conference today. In his initial statement Akinci alleged, inter alia, the following:
“Since I have come to duty, I have worked with all my power within the framework of the mutually accepted principles, the UN parameters and federation. We have covered a great distance on this road. We have carried the efforts for finding a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem until the Cyprus Conference. We could not achieve a positive result because of the negative stance of the Greek Cypriot leadership.
We have covered an important distance on the confidence building measures (CBMs) as well. Our efforts continue regarding those [CBMs] which have not been implemented.
After Crans Montana, as Turkey and [Turkish] Cypriot side, we prepared and shared with the public the main points of the policy which should be followed, summarizing them in 13 paragraphs. […]
During the recent years there is an issue of Turkey’s weakening relations in the area. This is not a development which we want. Our wish is for developing stronger relations with all countries, especially the countries of the region. We could not establish communication [even] with countries with which Turkey has very good relations. We could not even go to Azerbaijan as president. […]
I had said that we should underline that we want to develop our relations with the EU. There was a special committee, which the two sides created with the EU. We aimed at bringing the Turkish Cypriot institutions to the EU standards. After Crans Montana the relations were interrupted. We did not abandon these. We are continuing our efforts today as well. […]
After Crans Montana we have shared this with Turkey regarding Varosha: We could discuss its opening in return of the opening of Tymbou to international flights. My conclusion after the Crans Montana for Varosha was the following: We could discuss the opening [of Varosha] to the Greek Cypriots and the beginning of direct flights to Tymbou. The option of opening it with the Turkish Cypriots’ will without conflicting with the UN could be evaluated. However, the importance of international law is obvious at both points. Excluding the president of the republic was a serious mistake in the government’s decision regarding Varosha. […] Conflicting statements are made by the prime minister and the deputy prime minister on the issue of Varosha. What they want to do is not understood. The issue of Varosha should be taken up with sensitivity. […]
The Turkish Cypriots have also rights on the hydrocarbons. However, the issue is always postponed for the period after the solution. The reasonable thing to do on this issue is to start with discussing it. They should discuss this in a committee under a serious organization with us. Let us find a way out. Let us advance step by step from an environment of tension to an environment of common benefit, cooperation. There is a ship sent by Turkey. The second one is also coming. Within this framework, the continuation of increasing tension seems unavoidable. It is possible to turn around this course. […]
The decision providing for the return of the Maronites was taken at a high level meeting held at the president’s office on 26 July 2017. This caused a positive effect. It was decided for the process to be held under the coordination with the presidency. Many technical meetings had been made. […] These preparations were completed in a period of four months and conveyed to the then government. It had been conveyed that this money could not be used because of the economic crisis. The projects could not be materialized. […] It was said by the new government that the tender procedure for preparing Karpasia for settlement within the framework of the opening towards the Maronites was about to be completed. It seems that the opening to the Maronites has been degraded to the return of some families to Karpasia. Steps, decisions must be taken for Agia Marina and Asomatos villages as well.
After Crans Montana, I have brought onto the agenda what should happen regarding Varosha between us, as Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side. The political party leaders were also present. As a result of these evaluations, it was decided to give priority to the opening for the Maronites. […]
It is possible to bring onto the agenda the opening [of Varosha] for the Greek Cypriots under UN supervision and for common businesses and in return of beginning direct flights to Tymbou and opening it under the Turkish Cypriot will without conflicting with the UN. I want to emphasize the importance of the international law. Stating that decisions on Varosha were taken by excluding the president is far from being serious. […]”
Replying to questions, Akinci referred to the dinner between President Anastasiades and self-styled foreign minister Ozersay and said that everybody had the right to meet and eat with everybody, but the issue was the fact that this meeting had been kept secret.
Noting that elections will be held this weekend in Turkey and after two weeks in Greece, Akinci said that “currently the issue of whether an unofficial five-party meeting could be held is being discussed”. “The elections issue has pushed the timetable forward. Anastasiades will come out and say what he wants”, he claimed.
Arguing that there was an effort to by-pass the “president”, Akinci said that this happened in the case of the statement [of the self-styled government] for the occupied fenced-off city of Varosha. He added: “While coming to the Press conference, we found out that he [Ozersay] will brief us on an issue [Varosha], which is under the presidency’s responsibility. Tatar makes a statement and says ‘we are doing this in dialogue with Turkey’. The president is not a scarecrow. He represents the will of the people. […] I do not think that Turkey does not want to consult with me, but it is evident that there is a deficiency on this issue. […]”
Referring to the recent decision of the “government” regarding occupied Varosha, Akinci said that he did not know whether this had been taken in relation to steps to be taken regarding the process at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), adding that he had consulted with the chairman of the “Immovable Property Commission”, who briefed him on the relevant case at the ECHR, but he did not say that the statement on Varosha had any relation with it.