Turkish Cypriots expect fair attitude from EU

DAILY SABAH
ANKARA
Published 02.06.2019 00:04

Defending arguments of the Greek Cypriot Administration of Southern Cyprus doesn't contribute to the efforts for a peaceful solution in the island, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) administration said.

"I suggest the European Union act reasonably," TRNC Prime Minister Ersin Tatar said to Turkish Agency Cyprus (TAK) in a statement, adding that the statements of the EU on the Cyprus issue in Turkey's progress report were incorrect and subjective.

Stressing that two sovereign communities exist in Cyprus and that Turkish Cypriots won't become second class citizens under a Greek Cypriot state, Tatar said the reason for the deadlock on the island is the uncompromising attitude of Greek Cypriots. "The TRNC was formed due to the Enosis dream of Greek Cypriots and their perception of Turkish Cypriots as a minority," he said.

The Enosis movement, which literally meant "union," is advocating the annexation of Cyprus by Greece. On the other hand, for Turkish Cypriots, the term "enosis" is reminiscent of a period in which they were victimized by Greek Cypriot paramilitary groups seeking a union with Greece.

Cyprus was divided into a Turkish Cypriot statelet in the north and Greek Cyprus in the south after an Enosis-inspired 1974 military coup was followed by violence against the island's Turkish population. Turkey intervened as a guarantor power, and the status of the island remains unresolved in spite a series of discussions that resumed in May 2015.

Tatar emphasized that the Greek Cypriot side left the negotiation table in the Crans Montana talks and refused to cooperate in evaluating the energy resources around the island.

Negotiations over Cyprus resumed after the 2004 U.N.-backed Annan Plan to reunify the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot communities was refused by the Greek Cypriot side.

Numerous negotiations held between 2005 and 2016 failed, with talks falling out in 2013 due to the Greek Cypriot government's unilateral declaration of an exclusive economic zone in the Eastern Mediterranean and initiation of drilling activities in search of hydrocarbons in the region.

There has been an on-and-off peace process over the last few years, the latest failed initiative having taken place in Crans-Montana, Switzerland under the auspices of guarantor countries Turkey, Greece and the U.K., which collapsed last year.

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