Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (12.04.16) reports that former Turkish Cypriot leader and chairman of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), Mehmet Ali Talat has expressed the hope that a result will be reached in the Cyprus negotiations by the end of the year.
In statements in the Turkish city of Aydin where he had a meeting with its Mayor Ozlem Cercioglu, Talat alleged that the economic difficulties in the government-controlled area of the Republic of Cyprus have created an environment which supports the solution. Referring to the forthcoming parliamentary elections in the Republic, he claimed:
“We are experiencing a slowing down because of the elections in south Cyprus, but progress is continuing in spite of everything, convergences are increasing. The most important thing is that differently to the past years the economic and political conditions in south Cyprus are creating a community more prone to the solution to the Cyprus problem. The Greek Cypriot economy experienced a big shock. Previous approaches such as ‘the Turkish Cypriots are poor, we are rich, and we do not want to share our wealth’ have ceased to exist. The mentality that with the solution the island will attract foreign investors and thus it will become rich started to prevail and therefore the conditions seem to be more appropriate. […]”
Talat said that his party supported the Turkish Cypriot leader in the negotiations and will continue doing so as the biggest party in the occupied area of Cyprus.
Talat further alleged that Turkey is offering support on the issue of finding a solution to the Cyprus problem and expressed his gratitude.
Meanwhile, addressing a conference on the Cyprus problem at a university in the same Turkish city, Talat argued that the energy resources and the approach between Greece and Turkey will help in the solution process in Cyprus. Replying to a student’s question on the energy resources, Talat argued that after the discovery of natural gas resources, the Greek Cypriots saw that these could be connected to Europe over Turkey and these developments changed the climate in the Greek Cypriot side.
Talat also argued that the Greek Cypriot side knows that its economy will relax with the solution of the Cyprus problem and “thus they will be able to stir their collapsed economy up and attract foreign investors”. He concluded:
“Therefore, conditions have changed. The energy resources, the approach between Turkey and Greece will help in the solution process. The presidency is carrying out the negotiations today, but the government crisis is of course also influencing. I think that the government crisis will not last for long. It seems that today or tomorrow a government will be established or an early election will be held […]”