Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (02.09.15) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader, Mustafa Akinci has argued that “unreal” news is published in the Greek Cypriot press and added that not everything should be accepted as true. In statements yesterday in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus after meeting with President Anastasiades within the framework of the Cyprus talks, Akinci said that the sides have agreed on the categories as regards the property issue, but the criteria [according to which return, exchange or compensation of property will take place] have not been discussed yet.
Akinci noted that the negotiators have not yet worked on the criteria in the property, adding that the preparations of the sides continue on this issue. He called on the “citizens” not to believe in what he called as “speculations’ and pointed out that “we hide nothing from our people, let no one doubt about this”. He said: “An agreement has almost been achieved on the categories of the affected properties. However, the criteria, that is, the criteria which the property commission to be established will take into consideration during its work, have neither been exchanged between the sides nor negotiations on these criteria have been made”.
Recalling of UN Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Cyprus, Espen Barth Eide’s statements after yesterday’s meeting, Akinci said that yesterday they assessed the points on which the leaders and the negotiators agreed until today. He added that they continued their work on the chapters of property and governance.
Replying to a question, Akinci argued that the news published in the Greek Cypriot press have “misleading aspects”, noting that the press reported that criteria, instead of categories, have been discussed and exchanged. Akinci claimed that Government Spokesman Nicos Christodoulides has also conveyed the issue wrongly.
Responding to a question on the opening of the crossing point in Deryneia area, Akinci said that as political leadership they have decided the opening of the crossing points in Deryneia and Apliki areas and the technical committees are included in the following process. He noted that a proposal for building alternative roads has been submitted for both Deryneia and Apliki areas. He said:
“After studies which were conducted by our technical committee together with various authorities in Deryneia, the proposal for an alternative road there was submitted. According to information I obtained afterwards, the proposal for an alternative road regarding Lefka-Apliki was withdrawn and now the mines from the existing road are being cleaned”.
Noting that no agreement exists between the sides regarding the Deryneia crossing point, Akinci said that the members of the technical committee did not meet in the summer, but they will meet in September and try to find a way out. He argued that their target is for the difficulties on the issue of the route to be overcome and both roads to open the soonest as they know that this is the people’s expectation. He said that they will follow the issue and that they do not want the problems experienced during the opening of other crossing points to be experienced in Deryneia as well.
Responding to another question on the property issue, Akinci said that the individual’s property right is something which any way exists without being mentioned and it is valid in the whole world. Noting that the important thing here is how this right will be used, Akinci continued:
“If we refer to the properties in the north and in the south, 41 years passed. These 41 years created new situations. Some situations were taken up to the European Court of Human Rights, but in an important case there it is stressed that the years which passed brought some rights to the people who use the properties. Therefore, property right does not mean that the people who live on the lands or in the houses for many years will be thrown out with a decision. Realism has won in that court. Therefore, these are not issues which will be explained with percentages. These are issues which will be solved with criteria and these criteria have not even come to the stage of being discussed yet. The sides will carry out their studies and in the end of the day these criteria will come up”.
Akinci said that the 1977-79 high level agreements, the UN parameters, the joint declaration of the 11th of February 2014 and the principles reaffirmed by both sides refer to a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation in Cyprus. He added:
“According to our understanding, a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation means a system in which the Turkish Cypriot people will have the comfortable majority in both population and property in their own area. Therefore, according to our understanding, the negotiations which we are holding should result within this framework”.
Noting that the EU principles will be taken into consideration and the human rights will be respected, Akinci argued: “However, the European principles should not eliminate bi-zonality and bi-communality. This is our understanding. These are also mentioned in the agreement of 11 February 2014”.
Asked to comment on a statement made by President Anastasiades last week saying that “we are in favor of the continuation of the Republic of Cyprus”, Akinci said that he had read these statements and added that President Anastasiades made other different positive statements together with these statements, when he said that “the Republic of Cyprus does not belong only to the Greek Cypriots” and that “this mentality should change”. Describing these statements as “an important move”, Akinci said that they refer to a “new structure which the two communities and two founding states will establish in political equality”. He said that some “sensitivities” exist in both communities and added;
“The sensitivity in the Greek Cypriot side is the following: We wonder if we are abolishing the Republic of Cyprus, we wonder whether we will remain without a state if we abolish it on the day of the solution. No, according to them, the Republic of Cyprus is changing a form and according to us, a new structure is formed, because the two sides will approve a new situation in the referenda. When two ‘yes’ votes is the result of the referenda, a new structure will be born. Whatever we say this new structure’s name is, this will be a federation. We have not yet named it. When the day comes, we will give it a name. We are aware of the fact that a new structure will be born, but the following situation exists: this newly formed structure – which will be a new structure with its name, flag and everything – will be a federative structure. However, this new structure will not go and file an application again for becoming a member of the UN and becoming a member of the EU”.