Çavuşoğlu in Northern Cyprus amid uncertainty about future of reunification talks
by Özge Karagöz
ANKARAFeb 21, 2017 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Özge Karagöz
Feb 21, 2017 12:00 am
The Turkish foreign minister paid a visit to Turkish Cyprus as uncertainties about the future of the reunification talks continue since Greek Cypriot leader Nikos Anastasiadis left the negotiating table last week. Experts indicated that despite the uncompromising attitude of the Greek Cypriot, the Enosis crisis last week had little impact on Turkey's position in the Cyprus talks
After Turkish Foreign Affairs Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu paid a visit to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC) to assess the latest developments in the Cyprus negotiations last week, Çavuşoğlu today will hold meetings with KKTC officials President Mustafa Akıncı, Prime Minister Hüseyin Özgürgün and Foreign Minister Tahsin Ertuğruloğlu to exchange views on the current state of the negotiation process and help reach a comprehensive settlement on the island.
Çavuşoğlu's visit came after the so-called Enosis crisis last week, which broke out when Greek Cypriot leader Nikos Anastasiadis left the negotiating table following KKTC President Mustafa Akıncı's demands to abolish the Enosis referendum celebration in schools because it supports the Greek annexation of Cyprus.
While the U.N. declared that the negotiations will likely continue in the coming week, Turkey's position on the Cyprus talks have remained the same, despite the uncertain future of the negotiations. Regarding the recent crisis, retired Ambassador for the Center for Eurasian Studies (AVİM) Tugay Uluçevik spoke to Daily Sabah and emphasized that the Enosis crisis has not altered Turkey's position on the Cyprus issue.
"They [Greek officials] want to keep the Cyprus issue unresolved by raising the Enosis crisis, where Turkey made a great effort to reach a resolution at that time," Uluçevik said. Uluçevik also emphasized that Turkey is a powerful state at the present time, despite engaging in multiple struggles, including the Syrian Civil War and the battle with PKK terror organization and the constitutional amendment changes, thus urging Turkey to take a large role in the issue to show its power.
On that note, Dr. Sylvia Tiryaki, the deputy director and co-founder of the Global Political Trends (GPoT) Center in Istanbul, indicated: "Enosis is not taken seriously because it is a populist movement to claim domestic affairs and to raise nationalist feeling among Cypriot Greeks. It has not garnered widespread support even from Greek Cypriots." Tiryaki also added that the negotiations will likely continue in order to reach a solution.
Regarding the possible developments that could follow if the reunification talks end without any solution, Tiryaki said that the international community, including the EU and the U.N. must recognize the situation on the island. He underlined that a certain deadline must be put on the reunification talks, which would otherwise become unfruitful. But she pointed out that if negotiations are finalized with a solution, a two-state system must be recognized and the international community cannot act as if the Cypriot Turks do not exist on the island. Furthermore, Tugay Uluçevik suggested that a two-state system should be in place in case a solution cannot be provided. While Uluçevik emphasized the strategic importance of Cyprus for Turkey, he considered Turkey's decision to keep Turkish troops on the island to be justified.