Talat: The negotiations are advancing extremely positively

Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (27.08.15) reports that Mehmet Ali Talat, chairman of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) and former Turkish Cypriot leader, has said that the negotiations for finding a solution to the Cyprus problem are advancing extremely positively. In statements to Anatolia news agency, Talat said: “After all aspects of the Cyprus problem are solved, that is, after the administration and power sharing, the economy and all [other aspects] including the territory and the property are concluded, I think that a result which will obstruct the solution of the Cyprus problem will not come out in the treaties of guarantee that will be discussed at an international conference”. Talat added that the Turkish Cypriots want the continuation of the treaties of guarantee. He argued that these treaties are international agreements and they could be amended only after the approval of the states concerned. Noting that in spite of the “groundless criticism based on rumours”, the negotiations are going very well, Talat said that the most important problem we are facing is the property issue and argued that if progress is achieved on this issue “the problem will come to a seriously positive stage”. Referring to the period passed since the Annan Plan, Talat alleged that the economic crisis experienced in the government-controlled area of the island played a significant role in so-called as change of the Greek Cypriot stance, because the Greek Cypriots have allegedly seen that the crisis could not have happened if the Cyprus problem had been solved. Talat said that if a solution is reached the Turkish Cypriots will become a part of the international law and will benefit from all the “blessings” of the international law together with the Greek Cypriots. Arguing that the risk of a conflict will be abolished together with the solution and security will be achieved, Talat pointed out that economy will also grow and the European acquis will be implemented in the entire island. He added: “The north of Cyprus is a new economic potential and this is such not only for the Turkish Cypriots but for the Greek Cypriots as well. Partnerships will take place. Investments in the north will take place. Because the tourists who come to the south will be able to cross over easily, the south will be more attractive as destination. The north will be also attractive in the same manner. Very important steps will be economically taken and most importantly, more foreign investments will flow in Cyprus […]. However the most important of all is the new buildings, that is, the constructions’ sector. The reconstruction of Varosha, the building activities in the buffer zone, the new construction activities in the places in the north which will probably be returned to the Greek Cypriots, the construction activities of new settlements for the Turkish Cypriots etc. Cyprus will be turned into a big construction area. Especially the buffer zone and north Cyprus. This, of course, will bring very big vividness to the economy. […]” Talat argued that the information published on the Greek Cypriot press regarding the property issue “does not reflect the reality”. He said that he finds “groundless” the concerns on this issue, but he understands them. Recalling that the property issue has not yet been discussed, Talat added: “If we take the Annan Plan as basis, from the point of view of the Greek Cypriot properties in the north, it [the property issue] will be solved with compensation, exchange and return. This will have certain percentages. In parallel to certain percentages of return, the highest possible percentages of compensation and exchange will be preferred. […] The issue remained for the negotiations. Criteria will be determined with the negotiations. That is, for whom there will be compensation, for whom there will be return, properties of which status will be returned to which persons and under which conditions exchange will take place. These will be bound to criteria and an independent property commission will be deciding looking at these criteria”.

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