Mustafa Akinci: Being a Province of Turkey is not an Option for Turkish Cypriots

Friday, September 15th, 2017
Last Update: 11:45

Voicing frustration over the collapse of peace talks last summer to reunite Cyprus, the president of self-proclaimed Turkish Cyprus Mustafa Akinci said on September 14, that Turkish Cypriots have no intention of entering an open-ended process with an unclear outcome.

Neither annexation to Turkey, nor being a minority in Cyprus is an option for Turkish Cypriots, according to Akıncı, who spoke at a conference in Istanbul organized by the Economic Development Foundation (IKV).

Cypriots in the south and in the north of Cyprus, will either live under one roof with a federal solution or under two separate roofs side by side, said Akıncı.

Speaking about future steps to be taken following the collapse of inter-communal talks last summer, Akıncı spoke about continuity in diplomacy. However, the search for a solution cannot continue for another 50 years as all sides and especially Turkish Cypriots are tired, according to Akıncı.

“The need for a solution is there, but if we keep using the same methods and the same approaches, we will end up with the same outcome,” he added.

“I think Greek Cypriots need a serious mentality change,” Akıncı said, adding, “Greek Cypriots really have to question what they really want, as well.  Will they see the sharing of power as a big compromise, or will they accept the equality of the Turks?”

Akıncı called on Greek Cypriots to use the presidential elections that will take place in January to question what kind of solution they want to see in the divided island.

Akıncı will meet the U.N. secretary-general in New York this month and inform him that Turkish Cypriots will not give up on their solution-focused policies. “But we have no intention of entering an open-ended process with an unclear outcome,” he said, adding that the Turkish Cypriot side will make an evaluation after the elections in Greek Cyprus.

Answering questions from the audience concerning what lies ahead especially in terms of relations with Turkey, Akıncı said, “Two options are not in the agenda of Turkey and Turkish Cyprus: Turkish Cypriots do not want to be a minority under the unitary structure of Cyprus, nor do they want to be the 82nd province of Turkey. This is really not desired by Turkish Cypriots, and in fact, Turkey does not need an 82nd province and new problems. We do need very close and healthy relations with Turkey.”

As to the future of the island, Akıncı said, “Either we will live under one roof in a federal state within the framework of a solution, or we will continue to live under different roofs side by side.”

Source: Hurriyet

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