TRNC President: Turkish Cypriots need a strong Turkey

TRNC president Dervis Eroglu was in Turkish capital Ankara on Thursday.

TRNC President: Turkish Cypriots need a strong Turkey

World Bulletin / News Desk

A strong Turkey enhances the place of Turkish Cypriots at the negociating table, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Dervis Eroglu said on Thursday.

“The stronger the homeland is, the more deeply democracy takes root there and the longer Turkey maintains its current power in the international arena, the more at ease we (Turkish Cypriots) can be,” he said

Turkish and Greek Cypriots have been holding talks over the past four months to resolve disgareements over the island of Cyprus which has been divided for 40 years.

Eroglu said the support of the ‘homeland’ is significant for a solution and stability in Turkey - both political and economic - is a factor in Cyprus negotiations.

“As far as I can see, Turkey has a strong leader (in Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan), and he is surrounded by a strong team."

Cyprus has been divided into Greek and Turkish sides since a Greek Cypriot coup in 1963 was followed by Turkish intervention in 1974.

Turkey’s European Union ambitions are entwined with a solution to the dispute over the future of the divided island. Accession talks are locked due to the ongoing issue.

Leading players on the international arena have expressed hope in solving the decades-long problem.

Eroglu said in October that if the other sıde would come to the table agreement could reached by the end of the year.

"We could resolve the entire problem in March 2014 with a referendum to be held in both sides," he added.

Spring 2014 would mark the fiftieth year of the first UN resolution on the Cyprus issue which called for an end to sporadic violence between Turkish and Greek Cypriots.

The resolution also paved the way for the creation of an international peacekeeping force on the island which - despite being extended several times - is due to finish its mandate at the end of this month.

Greek Cypriots must seize hand of peace

Greek Cypriots must act with good intentions and recognise Turkish presence on Cyprus, said Turkish Parliament Speaker Cemil Cicek.

Speaking to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Dervis Eroglu on Thursday, Cicek said Cyprus remains as one of Turkey's most important foreign policy issues and Greece should seize its hand of peace.

"We have not seen any positive developments (from the Greek side) in this regard so far, nor have we seen much good intention. They do nothing further but stall the process. ... Everybody must see that you (the Turkish side) are the ones that want a resolution. And we are with you. It is the other side which wants otherwise."

Cicek stressed the price Turkey had paid on the island.

"There is a (Turkish Cypriot) government there, and it was not easy to establish either. It took a long struggle and heavy prices were paid in the process. It (the Turkish Cypriot government) has been there for the past 30 years. This must be recognized."

He said if peace is to be established, it must be "permanent and fair," not just for the sake of it and commended the TRNC for its efforts.

"You (the Turkish Cypriot side) have always endeavoured to establish a permanent peace, and Turkey supports your efforts. As the Turkish Parliament, we have always stood by your decisions, and will continue to do so."

"Peace must be established on the basis of political equality," he added.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 17 Ocak 2014, 09:40