Akinci: Greek Cypriots need to embrace idea of a federation to move process forward

 

According to BRT(4.03.2017), Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci said that the Greek Cypriots will have to accept the reality of two states in Cyprus unless a Greek Cypriot parliamentary vote to mark a 1950 Enosis referendum in schools – was rectified.

Speaking to reporters at Ercan Airport yesterday following his return from Islamabad, Akinci said that the Turkish Cypriot side demanded political equality and not privileges.

Akıncı also said that it will be difficult to move the process forward as long as the Greek Cypriot side did not embrace the idea of a federation.

He added that a failure to reach a federal solution and success in the negotiations will only result in solidifying the existence of two states in Cyprus.

Akıncı complained that the Greek Cypriot side continued its manipulative arguments during his absence from Cyprus, claiming that Turkey had derailed the talks due to the upcoming referendum in the country.

“The Greek Cypriot DISY party presented a proposal to overturn this decision but the committee did not even find it necessary to prioritize the matter. This shows that they are not understanding the Turkish Cypriot side’s sensitivity” on the matter.

Akinci said that the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades had also blamed him for the current impasse in the talks.

“We cannot change history but we can learn lessons from the past when building the future” he said.

Also touching upon the issue of being perceived as a minority, Akıncı said “They are claiming that they are granting us privileges even though we are a minority. I strongly reject this notion. We do not want privileges, we want political equality. Political equality in federations is not a privilege…it is a principle. Moreover Turkish Cypriots are not demanding political equality at all institutions” he added.

Pointing out that the Greek Cypriot side, even though half-heartedly, did acknowledge that it had made a mistake, Akıncı said the Turkish Cypriot side was ready to resume the talks if the mistake was rectified.

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