“If all sides exhibit intention, political will and determination, a solution in Cyprus is possible”
President Mustafa Akıncı, prior to his departure for New York, made a press statement at the Ercan Airport and indicated "My struggle is for our people to lead a European and modern life in political equality, freedom and security while maintaining their unique identity and personality on the basis of a solution based on two constituent states as well as international law”.
“This path is not a straight one, there are many difficulties,” President Akıncı stated. “We will be determined and consistent in our path. We will expect all parties, particularly the Greek Cypriot side, to act constructively with the same spirit. It is my conviction that no problem in the world is bound to remain unresolved. Every problem can be solved as long as there is determination and consistency.”
President Mustafa Akıncı, as part of his New York contacts will come together with the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, on the occasion of UN General Assembly. During his contacts in New York, President Akıncı is accompanied by his Private Secretary Cenk Gürçağ, Presidential Spokesperson Barış Burcu and his Special Representative Erhan Erçin.
In his press statement, President Akıncı explained that he will speak out on behalf of Turkish Cypriots in New York, in compliance with the authority given to him by the Turkish Cypriot people and continued as follows:
“I am setting a possible and an attainable goal for solution and I am acting accordingly. In the framework of the established parameters over the years, the solution has a name and it is a federal structure with bi-zonality and two constituent states that can be lived in political equality and security. Failing to attain this, the division in Cyprus will be permanent”.
“CLARITY IS ESSENTIAL FOR THE PROCESS TO BRING SUCCESS. AS THE TURKISH CYPRIOT SIDE WE ARE CLEAR ON WHAT WE WANT. WHAT WE WANT IS COMPATIBLE WITH THE UN PARAMETERS”
Drawing attention that clarity is essential for a successful process, President Akıncı said the following:
“As the Turkish Cypriot side we are clear on what we want and what we want is compatible with the UN parameters. We hold intentions, political will and determination. If all parties, particularly the Greek Cypriot side, display the same intention, political will and determination, a solution in Cyprus is possible”.
President Akıncı noted that they aim at a results-oriented, well-planned process that can lead us to a strategic agreement in a brief time and, if this is achieved, technical meetings can be conducted to fill in the details. "For this, there is no need for prolonging negotiations," he said.
“UN SECRETARY-GENERAL SHOULD TAKE MORE ACTIVE ROLE”
President Akıncı stated that they expect the UN Secretary-General to take a more active role in this process. Addressing to the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades, the President said “It is necessary to alter the minority-majority mentality as soon as possible and to focus on partnership mentality. It is the only way to complete the terms of reference.”
President Mustafa Akıncı said his meeting with the UN Secretary-General is the most important among his contacts in New York.
The President expressed that separate meetings will be held with the Secretary General in New York and then they will expect to see what the Secretary-General will propose for the way forward. “A trilateral meeting may also appear in the agenda, but it is not expected immediately, it is possible afterwards in a near future,” he added.
“TURKISH GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS WANT TO CONVENE FOR A FIVE-PARTY MEETING EVEN IF IT IS UNOFFICIAL AND WE ARE POSITIVE ON THIS MATTER”
Noting that Turkish government officials want to convene for a five-party meeting even if it is unofficial, the President said "We are not closed to this idea as well. We think that this may be beneficial if it is well-planned and well-prepared.”
“THE CONFUSION OF MR. ANASTASIADES CAUSED AMBIGUITY”
Stating that confusion created by the Greek Cypriot leader Anastasiades caused ambiguity, President Akıncı continued as follows:
“Until the 9th August meeting, Mr. Anastasiades mentioned two states in certain places whereas in some cases we got the information that he voiced confederation. Afterwards, during our meeting, he said ‘loose federation” but then he claimed ‘I did not mean loose federation, in fact I meant decentralization’. Then one day he said ‘Let’s put aside the rotating presidency and the presidential regime and move on to the rotating prime ministry.’ Therefore, he caused confusion and created ambiguity.”
“IF ALL SIDES PUT FORTH INTENTION, POLITICAL WILL AND DETERMINATION, SOLUTION IN CYPRUS IS POSSIBLE”
President Akıncı said that in addition to the 11 February 2014 joint document, Guterres framework of 30 June 2017 and the past convergences, another important factor is how to structure and carry out the process. He further continued:
“We believe that the period of open-ended negotiations remains in the past now. This is not only our belief, but also it is the opinion of the UN Secretary-General. Prolonging, open-ended processes are not our job anymore. If all parties, particularly the Greek Cypriot side, exhibit the same intention, political will and determination, a solution is possible in Cyprus.”
Expressing his wish to convey good news to the Turkish Cypriot people from New York, the President underlined “However, allow me to say, it is obvious that all parties should act in the same way”.
“WE WILL DO OUR UTMOST IN GOOD FAITH AND A CONSTRUCTIVE SPIRIT”
Stating that they are travelling to New York in good faith and in a constructive spirit as always, the President said they will meet with the Secretary-General with this intention. “We will do our utmost to safeguard our rights and the body of work obtained throughout the efforts carried out by the United Nations,” he indicated.
Referring to recent developments, the President reminded that as the leaders they met on 9 August and the UN Secretary-General called them separately and asked for the completion of the terms of reference which is carried out by special envoy Jane Holl Lute. He also recalled the recent visit of Lute to the island, during which she spent longer working hours to carry out the work.
“TERMS OF REFERENCE HAVE NOT BEEN COMPLETED YET AS A RESULT OF THE STANCE OF THE GREEK CYPRIOT SIDE”
President Akıncı continued:
“The Greek Cypriot side created a misperception. They reflected as if the two sides reached a consensus on all matters in the meeting held on 9 August and we completed everything when Lute arrived on the island, then as if something happened and Akıncı stepped back. No, there is no such thing. At the meeting on 9 August, we decided to conduct our work with Lute. We gave the indications that we will accept a trilateral meeting if the Secretary General invites us. And we have demonstrated our determination to conduct the work. However, during the 9 August meeting, Mr. Anastasiades unfortunately continued being in denial of our political equality and effective participation on the federal decisions. Regarding the date of the Guterres framework, he continued his stance on not mentioning the date of 30 June. Therefore, we were unable to reach a consensus. Unfortunately, Mr. Anastasiades continued to reject our effective participation in the works carried out by Mr. Lute. Although the attempts to dilute the Guterres framework have been regressed slightly, the terms of reference have not been completed yet as a result of the attitude of Mr. Anastasiades”.
“THE SPEECH DELIVERED IN LONDON OFFENDED US”
Referring to the Greek Cypriot leader's speech delivered in London, President Akıncı said “The speech of Mr. Anastasiades has offended us because he is not telling the truth. The truth is what I am trying to convey”.
Stating that they believe, since the very first day, three main elements should be included in the terms of reference, Akıncı said “We will continue this attitude in New York”. He added:
“THE DOCUMENT DATED 30 JUNE 2017 IS THE ONLY DOCUMENT. THERE IS NO OTHER DOCUMENT”
“Of the three main elements, one is the joint statement signed between Mr. Anastasiadis and Mr. Eroğlu on 11 February 2014. The second is all the past convergences reached until Crans-Montana. And then it is the Guterres framework. The Guterres framework is unique as well. There is no other Guterres framework. The framework is dated 30 June. Mr. Anastasiades has been trying to dilute this issue for the past two years. While Mr. Anastasiades was claiming that it is not 30 June, but it is 4 July and then 6 July, the UN has now reflected it in the Security Council resolution. It is once again revealed that there is no other document. ”
“MR ANASTASIADES SHOULD COMPREHEND THAT THE TURKISH CYPRIOT PEOPLE WILL NOT BE A MINORITY OF ANYONE, ANY PARTY”
Asking for clarity, the President indicated that political equality and effective participation are crucial for the Turkish Cypriot side.
President Akıncı, who addressed to the Greek Cypriot leader, continued as follows:
“This issue is very crucial for the Turkish Cypriot people. Insistently, it is being voiced by the Greek Cypriot side that this is what Turkey wants. This issue is a sine qua non for the Turkish Cypriot people, it is not because Turkey insists on it. Unfortunately, he is misleading both his public opinion and world opinion by claiming that a progress cannot be reached due to the insistence of Turkey. He should stop making such claims as soon as possible. The Turkish Cypriot people is seeking a partnership and he should comprehend that the Turkish Cypriot people will not be a minority of anyone, any party.”
“A PARTNERSHIP UNDERSTANDING CANNOT BE LIKE THIS”
President Akıncı said that if a partnership is to be established, it is essential to make decisions together in the areas for which this partnership is responsible. “If you do not want to give the Turkish Cypriot side a say in the energy and financial policies as well as in the federal budget, it is not a federation, it is not a common decision-making mechanism. This means as if decisions are taken by the majority in a unitary state. The understanding of partnership does not work this way, it is not possible. It is necessary to adopt immediately an understanding of partnership instead of a majority/minority one. The terms of reference can only be completed in this way”.
“ALTHOUGH THE RHETORIC OF TWO RECOGNIZED STATES MAY SOUND GOOD, IT IS NOT A DEVELOPMENT THAT COULD HAPPEN IN THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE”
“Although the rhetoric of two recognized states may sound good, it is not a development that could happen in the foreseeable future,” President Akıncı noted. “My struggle is for our people to lead a European and modern life in political equality, freedom and security while maintaining their unique identity and personality on the basis of a solution based on two constituent states as well as international law”.