According to Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (13.04.16), Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, following the meeting with the German Minister of Foreign Affairs Frank-Walter Steinmeier which lasted one hour and forty five minutes, stressed that “it is the first time that Germany, one of the leading countries in Europe, shows such an interest to the solution of the Cyprus problem. Germany was also a leading country in the past; however she did not show such a close interest to the Cyprus problem”. Akinci further said that the stance of the German officials is to develop the relations with the Turkish Cypriot side and to continue this relation is important.
In a statement outside the German Federal Parliament (Bundestag) following a meeting with Steinmeier, Akinci said that a very constructive meeting was held with Steinmeier and that they had the opportunity to evaluate the current situation of the negotiating process.
Stressing that he travelled to Germany upon the invitation of Steinmeier, Akinci said that the Turkish Cypriot side is one of the two equal sides of federal Cyprus and the development of relations from today will be beneficial.
Commenting on the election which will be held in the “Greek Cypriot side” (translator’s note: he refers to the Parliamentary elections of the Republic of Cyprus), Akinci argued that even though the Greek Cypriot side says that the elections will not influence the negotiations, it has slowed down the process.
Akinci said: “Everyone can see that there is a slowdown in the negotiation process. If we want to turn 2016 into a year of peace, we need to enter into a quicker process as of the end of May. We are determined on this matter”.
Upon a question whether the reunited East and West Germany model has been used as an example in the negotiations in order to find a solution to the Cyprus problem, Akinci said that the Cypriots are trying to solve the problem considering the sui generis reality of the Cyprus issue, however, they can benefit from the experiences of other countries.
Asked to comment on the statement by Turkish Minister for European Affairs Volkan Bozkir saying “despite many years have passed over the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Cyprus problem has not been resolved yet”, Akinci argued that the Turkish Cypriots have done their part to demolish the wall in the referendum held for the solution of Cyprus problem in 2004, and added that the Turkish Cypriots are not the reason for the wall still standing.
Claiming that “the Turkish Cypriots opened holes on the existing wall” by removing the “visa requirement” for those who pass to the “Turkish Cypriot side” (translator’s note: the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus), Akinci concluded by saying: “Our wish is to remove this wall completely, and this will not be done with the effort of a single side. Both sides should do their parts and this time we will get two ‘yes’ votes at the referendum”.