Turkish PM: Cyprus situation 'not sustainable'

Binali Yildirim says Turkish Cypriots on the island still being isolated

Turkish PM: Cyprus situation 'not sustainable'

World Bulletin / News Desk

The current situation on the divided island of Cyprus is no longer sustainable, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Tuesday.

Speaking in Ankara at a joint news conference with his Turkish Cypriot counterpart, Huseyin Ozgurgun, Yildirim said the situation in Cyprus “is not something that could be sustained forever”.

“For years, the Turkish Cypriot side has been almost ignored and subjected to isolations while the Greek Cypriot side has continued to enjoy – albeit in an unfair manner – all the opportunities provided by the European Union and the world at large. It is apparent that this is not a sustainable situation,” he said.

The Turkish premier said Ankara would continue to support the Turkish Cypriot cause and be their guarantor.

"Regardless of the circumstances of a resolution, or whether a resolution is found or not, Turkey’s effective guarantorship is a must in Cyprus. Turkey will not let any developments that would allow another adventure. Everybody must know this. We want peace,” he said.

As for peace talks between Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot sides, Yildirim said both Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot governments have always been constructive, and called on the Greek Cypriot side not to miss this “last chance”.

“This is actually the last chance of the Greek Cypriot side which keeps saying: ‘Let’s make peace and live together,’ only to spoil the game every time. We suggest that they make good use of this chance,” Yildirim added.

Speaking also in the joint news conference, Prime Minister Ozgurgun said security forces “will clamp down” on the Fetullah Terror Organization [FETO], if anything by the government is detected.

When asked whether a widespread operation against FETO is expected or not, Ozgurgun said the government in Northern Cyprus added the group to its terrorist list on July 21, adding that all Gulen-movement activities are banned in the country.

Ozgurgun also offered his condolences to the July 15 martyrs’ families and wished a speedy recovery to all those injured.

“As Mr. Yildirim also highlighted, July 15 is a dark day in Turkish Cypriots’ history as well,” Ozgurgun said. “Fascist Greece’s coup in July 15, 1974 was averted by the mainland Turkish Republic’s intervention on July 20, 1974, bringing Turkish Cypriots peace and freedom.”


- 'Meeting of brothers'


Ozgurgun said he sees the official visit to Prime Minister Yildirim as “a meeting of brothers”.

“Turkey’s presence on the island is the main element in assuring Turkish Cypriots’ security until there is a permanent and fair resolution found for both Turkish and Greek Cypriots,” Ozgurgun said. “Turkey’s being strong and healthy in every aspect is the most important thing for us."

Ankara, as a benefactor and protector of the TRNC since its establishment, had long been planning to provide fresh water to the island, which lacks its own water resources. The project was officially launched in 2011 and completed in Oct. 2015. Water distribution has not yet started.

Ozgurgun said: “If a permanent solution is reached, the water project will be for the benefit of Greek Cypriots as well.” 

He added: “Realizing this project could only be done by a big state; that is our land, Turkey.”

The project aims to fulfill the irrigation and drinking-water needs of Northern Cyprus by supplying 75 million cubic meters (2.6 billion cubic feet) of water annually for the next 50 years.  

The eastern Mediterranean island was divided into a Turkish Cypriot state in the north and a Greek Cypriot administration in the south after a 1974 military coup on the island was followed by the intervention of Turkey as a guarantor power.

Reunification talks between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities resumed in May 2015 when newly elected president Mustafa Akinci met Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades.

However, talks floundered. Anastasiades later cancelled a meeting with Akinci after refusing to attend a dinner hosted by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during May’s World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, having been told that the Turkish Cypriot leader had also been invited.

Anastasiades subsequently cancelled a meeting set with Special UN Cyprus Envoy Espen Barth Eide.

The interrupted peace talks resumed on June 8.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 26 Temmuz 2016, 15:33