Greek side must accept Turkish Cypriots as joint owners, not minority, Erdoğan says

DAILY SABAH WITH AFP
ISTANBUL
Published 10.12.2017 00:00
Updated 10.12.2017 14:42
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan meets with the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras not pictured at the Maximos Mansion in Athens, Greece, Dec. 7, 2017. AFP Photo
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan meets with the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras (not pictured) at the Maximos Mansion in Athens, Greece, Dec. 7, 2017. (AFP Photo)

Turkish Cypriots are "joint owners" of the divided island of Cyprus, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said in an interview published Sunday, insisting negotiations will fail if they are treated otherwise.

"Turkish Cypriots will never be reduced to the status of a minority, as the Greek Cypriots wish, on an island where they are joint owners," Erdoğan told To Vima weekly.

Erdoğan said any peace talks are doomed to fail unless there is change from Greek Cypriots "towards an understanding that Turkish Cypriots are political equals."

"The Greek Cypriots have a serious problem as regards power sharing... they still see Cyprus as a Greek island," Erdoğan added.

The eastern Mediterranean island has been divided since 1974, when a Greek Cypriot coup was followed by violence against the island's Turks, and Ankara's intervention as a guarantor power.

The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was declared on Nov. 15, 1983.

Greek Cypriot voters also rejected the Annan peace plan in a 2004 referendum that was approved by Turkish Cypriot voters.

Efforts to reunify the island also collapsed at a U.N.-hosted peace summit in Switzerland in July.

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