BY DAILY SABAH
Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) ignore the mentality that sees the Turkish Cypriot people as a minority, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said Thursday during a joint press conference with Turkish Cypriot President Ersin Tatar.
Holding a press conference after his face-to-face meeting with Tatar in TRNC capital Lefkoşa (Nicosia), Çavuşoğlu said that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s regional Eastern Mediterranean conference proposal is still on the table. He also added that TRNC’s proposals on equitable income sharing are also on the table.
Urging the European Union and the United Nations to take the necessary step on equitable resource sharing, Çavuşoğlu said: “Otherwise, we have taken and will take the necessary steps.”
Regarding the appointment of a United Nations Special Representative to Cyprus, Çavuşoğlu said: “The special representative has no duty to do, so we do not find the idea of appointing a special representative right at the moment.”
Tatar, for his part, said that the time has come for Greek Cypriots to act according to the realities of the Cyprus island.
He also added that both sides on the island of Cyprus should be recognized as equals for reinitiated official negotiations on the Cyprus issue, ahead of a meeting with the United Nations chief last week.
The island of Cyprus has been mired in a decadeslong struggle between Greek and Turkish Cypriots, despite a series of diplomatic efforts by the U.N. to achieve a comprehensive settlement.
The island has been divided since 1964, when ethnic attacks forced Turkish Cypriots to withdraw into enclaves for their safety. In 1974, a Greek Cypriot coup aiming at Greece’s annexation led to Turkey’s military intervention as a guarantor power. The TRNC was founded in 1983.
The Greek Cypriot administration, backed by Greece, became a member of the European Union in 2004, although in a referendum that year most Greek Cypriots rejected a U.N. settlement plan that envisaged a reunited Cyprus joining the EU.