President Ersin Tatar’s response to the conditions put forward by the Greek Cypriot Leader Nicos Anastasiadis: "It is not possible for us to bow to threats and blackmail"

President Ersin Tatar replied to the Greek Cypriot Administration Leader Nicos Anastasiadis, who said that they would exercise their “veto” at the summit where discussions will be held on EU-Turkey relations if the Greek Cypriot “conditions are not accepted”.

President Tatar's statement is as follows:

“The Greek Cypriot Administration leader, Nicos Anastasiades, recently met with Josep Borrell, the High Representative of EU Foreign Relations and Security Policy, in Brussels. During the meeting, Mr Anastasiadis set out the conditions that ‘Turkey should stop natural gas explorations in the eastern Mediterranean; the Turkish side should end the Maraş initiative, TRNC and Turkey should abandon the two State solution proposal.’ Mr Anastasiades also declared that he will veto the EU Summit meeting in June, where EU-Turkey relations will be discussed, if these conditions are not accepted.

These conditions put forward by Mr Anastasidis include threats and blackmail against the EU, Turkey and the TRNC and it would never be possible for us to accept these conditions, nor to submit to the hegemonic attitude of the Greek Cypriot side. We will not give up the proposal we made at the five-plus-UN informal meeting held last month in Geneva, for a solution to be based on two sovereign equal States, which is a position and vision supported by Turkey, the largest and most powerful country in the region. Furthermore, the Maraş initiative and natural gas works in the Eastern Mediterranean will continue.

One of the main reasons why the Greek Cypriot side is so bold and resorted to blackmail and threats is that for political reasons, the EU has unfairly and unilaterally accepted Southern Cyprus and has a pro-Greek stance on Cyprus. However, this stance of the EU serves a deadlock.

Having lost its neutrality on the Cyprus issue, together with the Greek-Greek Cypriot duo, the EU pressures and threatens Turkey on a position that ‘If you want to become an EU member, the Cyprus issue must be resolved as we want it’. However, the same EU did not consider whether the Cyprus issue should be resolved when taking Southern Cyprus and Greece into membership.

In the meantime, it would be useful to point out the promises made by the EU during the Annan Plan referenda in 2004 towards the Turkish Cypriot people. The EU promised that ‘if the Turkish Cypriots say yes in the referenda, the Cyprus issue will not be placed in front of Turkey as a condition in its negotiations with the EU’. However, the EU did not fulfil this promise along with its other promises. Whilst the Cyprus issue is still being put as an obstacle for Turkey, further and unacceptable conditions are also put forward. In addition to these, the Turkish Cypriot people are forced to become a minority to the Greek Cypriots as ‘a patch’ to the "Republic of Cyprus" which has turned into a Greek Cypriot state. It is not possible for us to accept these either and we will continue to walk on the path we have determined together with Turkey.

Whilst EU members South Cyprus and Greece exploit their EU membership and issue threats and blackmail to Turkey and the TRNC, we shall be monitoring what the EU stance will be against the conditions put forward by the Greek Cypriot Leader Nicos Anastasiadis. Our wish is for the EU to give up its pro-Greek stance, to be just and fair and to show the appropriate reaction to the conditions of the Greek Cypriot side.”