The Greek Cypriot Politis Newspaper held a special interview with President Mustafa Akıncı prior to his meeting with the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades on the 26th of February.
The newspaper which drew attention to the fact that President Akıncı through the Politis Newspaper once again repeated the messages he wanted to give the Greek Cypriot people wrote that the main message of Akıncı was his call to Anastasiades to explain his decentralisation proposal in detail and that he will not discuss the guarantee issue until the political equality of the Turkish Cypriots is respected and it will be clear that the Turkish Cypriots will be considered as a partner rather than an opponent.
Asked to comment on what was the outcome of his two meetings with the UN Secretary General’s Temporary Consultant on the Cyprus issue Jane Holl Lute last week, Akıncı said the manner of the sides became clear therefore they were trying to understand at which point they were standing.
“We don’t know if we mean the same thing with political equality” Akıncı said.
“If what we mean is taking decision through majority of votes then what we mean is a unitary state. If we don’t have a common authority at the centralized government then what we talk about is two separate states. If we talk about a federation then we need the active participation of both sides” he added.
Reminding that the Turkish Cypriots had been asking for more authority to the founding states however the Greek Cypriots asked the same for the centralized government for many years, Akıncı asked if Anastasiades wanted these authorities to be given to the founding states.
“If the target is common representation at the EU and the UN and to have limited authorities at the centralized government so that the consent of both sides will not be needed then we talk about two states. If this is what he thinks then he should tell us so that we can evaluate it in good faith” the President said.
Responding to a question regarding the issue of security and guarantees, Akıncı stressed that it was him who stated first “the security need of one side should not be considered as a threat by the other side.”
“If the Turkish Cypriot side says it will not change anything on the current guarantees then the Greek Cypriot side could not accept this. If the Greek Cypriot side says we want zero troops zero guarantee like they said in Crans Montana then we will achieve no outcome” he said.
Expressing that the Turkish Cypriots had the will to share the power and prosperity in the possible partnership, Akıncı also expressed his expectation from his upcoming meeting with Anastasiades.
“We still don’t know anything about decentralization. If there is a specific proposal on the decentralized federation we are not close to this. How much authorization will be given to the founding states and which are these? I am waiting for the details and this is the logic of the meeting. Anastasiades told me on the phone that he will be coming to the meeting prepared” President Akıncı said.
Asked what he is demanding for the official restart of the negotiations, he said “if we cannot agree on the issue of political equality which is vital for the Turkish Cypriots then I cannot proceed and I am telling this so clearly. I am not ready to start an open-ended negotiations process also.”
Asked whether he is demanding a timetable, Akıncı said “of course” and added “not only me but the UN Secretary General is also saying this and those who support a solution in the south feel this need. I’ve been hearing that he has a proposal of a 3 columned document regarding the entire procedure. The convergences we reached had already been written in black in the official reports. There is no need to spend more time on this.”
Asked whether there was a consensus between the Turkish Cypriot side and the Turkish side by reminding that the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu had said that Turkey was open to everything, a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation, a confederation or a two state solution, President Akıncı said “I represent my people. The negotiations had always been held between the Turkish Cypriot leader and the Greek Cypriot leader and there is also an internal dialogue on both sides.”