Prime Minister Tufan Erhürman came together with Turkish Cypriots residing in Ankara at a gathering at the Grand Ankara Hotel last night.
Speaking there, the Premier touched upon the Cyprus issue by explaining the process that took place in Crans Montana and said that the Turkish Cypriot side had put forward serious initiatives at the table.
‘We were not even expecting this to take place. It was a very important step towards a solution but unfortunately this was not reciprocated. The Greek Cypriot side dragged its feet and sought ways to leave the table and found it. We were very close to a solution but it did not take place and this has gone down in history’ said Erhürman.
Noting that many things that took place after the Crans Montana summit had ended the Premier said that during the phase the Greek Cypriot leader claimed that he would not be able to explain to his people the political equality of the Turkish Cypriot people or make them accept it and therefore the Greek Cypriot presidential elections needed to be completed in order to continue with the Cyprus negotiations process.
Noting that Anastasiades had proposed a two state or a confederation like solution both behind closed doors and in front of authorised people, Erhürman said “now we are face to face with surprises. We have moved from a loose federation to a decentralised federation. They both give more powers to the founding states and fewer powers to the central state”.
Explaining that throughout the history of the negotiations process the Turkish Cypriot side has always defended a federation model the Premier said that the thesis put forward by Anastasiades was the Turkish thesis.
“If this is the new initiative we don’t have any problems. Let’s sit down and meet but now he is saying something else. He is now talking about giving fewer powers to the central state. It doesn’t matter how much authority is given to the founding states it is not possible for us to give up on the Turkish Cypriot peoples political equality” said Erhürman.
Noting that the Turkish Cypriot people will not be sidelined he continued to give details regarding the possible federation model.
Explaining why the Greek Cypriot side is behaving in such a manner on the Cyprus issue the Prime Minister said that this was due to the hydrocarbon reserves surrounding the island.
“Anastasiades needs to decide on what he wants to discuss. Sharing is essential for us. If there is such a thing then the negotiations will have a meaning. The ball is in Anastasiades’ court, we will see how he will play and we will play accordingly” said the Premier.
He also explained what needed to be done while waiting for the Cyprus problem to be solved.
Erhürman said that in order to reach the desired socio economic level there was a need for the support of Turkish Cypriots living abroad and he continued to give further details regarding the economic situation in the country.