Turkish daily Milliyet (online, 15.10.15), under the title “A German model for solution in Cyprus”, reports that Milliyet’s editor-in-chief, Fikret Bila headed a team that met yesterday with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci. The issue of a Cyprus settlement based on the “German model” came up during the meeting.
Referring to the Cyprus talks, Akinci said that they should find a solution in Cyprus the soonest possible and added: “We are of the same generation with esteemed Anastasiades”. He also said that either they solve the problem during this period or it will become even more difficult to do so in the future, adding that this is the last settlement effort by their generation.
Stressing that there are three essential points in the Cyprus problem, Akinci argued that there cannot be a solution, which won’t address the issues of equality, freedom and security. He explained: “I don’t want this only for me. I want also this for our partners, the Greek Cypriots”.
Regarding the presidency, in which the governance and power sharing chapter is included, Akinci said: “In a Cyprus settlement definitely the rotating presidency is necessary. This is our must for the sake of political equality”. Noting that the issue of guarantees will be discussed last, Akinci said that on this issue, the guarantor countries will have a say.
Claiming that 75% of the “people” in South Cyprus (translator’s note: the government controlled area in the Republic of Cyprus) does not want to return back to their home in the occupied north, Akinci said that the property issue, which is one of the most important chapters of the Cyprus problem, will be solved mostly with compensations. Akinci also said that in their meetings, he and Anastasiades made promises to each other on the issue of compensations; however, what is important is to keep their word.
Referring to the project of water supply from Anamur, Mersin to the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, Akinci said that it is very important. He further noted: “This water is wealth for us. It is an important gain in the Middle East. We will be able to share it with the Greek Cypriots. He added: “The union of North Cyprus with South Cyprus will affect positively the relations between Turkey and Greece”.
Noting that the sharing of natural resources in the region within peace is an important path, Akinci said: “Egypt discovered a rich hydrocarbon reservoir only 6 km from Cyprus’ EEZ. It is a very short distance to the island. (…) to transfer natural gas from Egypt, Israel and Cyprus to Europe (through Turkey) is viewed by experts as the most intelligent path”. Akinci further claimed that Anastasiades also said that he has the same view with him on this issue, adding that he believes that the discovered mineral wealth can be used in a way that can contribute to the regional peace.
Meanwhile, Akinci thanked the Demiroren Media Group on starting to print the newspaper Milliyet in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus.
Replying to a question whether the “TRNC citizens” who are of Turkish origin will leave the island or not after the Cyprus settlement, Akinci said: “The people who have started a family and have settled in Cyprus (translator’s note: the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus) and have lived in this land for years now should not this issue even being discussed”. He added: “I don’t even know who has settled and who has not. The TRNC citizens are all our compatriots”.
On the same issue, Sefa Karahasan, correspondent of Milliyet newspaper in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, in his column “A glance from the island”, under the title “The critical three months”, writes that Akinci, during the meeting with the Milliyet team, said that the Cyprus talks will enter the most critical period from November. He added that a plan should emerge prior to the parliamentary elections that will be held in “South Cyprus” (translator’s note: the government controlled area of the Republic of Cyprus) in May 2016. It will be difficult for Anastasiades to focus on the Cyprus talks from the moment on which the election campaign will begin. Akinci stressed that the months of November, December and January will be the most critical months.