According to Bayrak television (12.04.16), Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, in statements this morning from Germany where he attended a live televised program on Deutsche Welle television channel, said, inter, alia that a solution in Cyprus is important for the region and the European Union and therefore he wanted to cooperate with all EU countries.
Asked on a question regarding Turkey’s EU negotiations process and the effect the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has on politics in “north Cyprus”, Akinci said that he was working to reunite the island with the Greek Cypriot leader Nikos Anastasiades and added that although Turkey always supported the Turkish Cypriot side, the two leaders in the island are responsible for a solution.
“The Turkish Cypriot people have always received the support of Turkey and have not faced any hardships and don’t expect to face any hardships in the future either”, said Akinci.
During the interview, Akύncύ referred to the 2004 Annan Plan referendum that was held on the island and noted that although the majority of the Turkish Cypriots voted in favor of the plan, they were not accepted into the European Union. He added that the Greek Cypriot side, which had overwhelmingly rejected the plan was unilaterally accepted in the Union.
Touching upon the Cyprus negotiations process, Akύncύ said that serious progress was achieved on 6 chapters and even though some problems remained the issues of territory and guarantees would be taken up last.
Noting that alongside a physical division, a mental division between the two “peoples” on the island exists as well, Akinci said that the mental division was not something that could be overcome in a short time as the Greek Cypriot side has to change its belief that it is the sole ruler of the island.
“They also have to accept that they must share administrative responsibilities and this will take time”, added Akinci, pointing out that it is more difficult to make mental changes than it is to make physical changes.
Explaining that there is good chemistry between the two leaders and due to this it is easier to make progress at the talks, Akύncύ said that they are from the same generation with Mr. Anastasiades and expressed the belief that it is the last chance for the current generation on the island to find a solution based on a federation and therefore, this opportunity for a solution shouldn’t be missed.