The Greek Cypriot should stop treating the Turkish side as a minority if it wants a peaceful solution on the island of Cyprus, a senior Turkish Cypriot diplomat said Wednesday.
Tahsin Ertuğruloğlu, the foreign minister of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), told Anadolu Agency (AA) that Turkish Cypriots are no minorities on the island but equal partners.
Recalling the principles on which the Republic of Cyprus was founded in 1960, he said one of the partners cannot claim the island by excluding the other.
Ertuğruloğlu said the legitimacy of the state was dependent on the condition of the continuation of the partnership.
The United Nations continues to see the Greek side, which broke this partnership, as the legal heir and accepts it as the only representative of this partnership, he said.
He added that negotiations on Cyprus will not reach a solution after the Greek Cypriot administration was added as a member state in the U.N. General Assembly.
The diplomat said the process and international policy that punishes Turkish Cypriots and rewards the Greek Cypriot administration should come to an end.
He said if a negotiation process is to be brought to the agenda on the basis of sovereign equality, they would be happy to join but, he added, they would not accept a policy that urges them to start from where they left off in Crans-Montana and realize a federation.
He went on to say that negotiations will stop both if the Greek side insists on restarting from where Crans-Montana left off and if the European Union and U.N. pampering continues as if nothing has changed.
Ertuğruloğlu said blaming the Greek Cypriots is not a solution, although the U.N. and the EU, who favor their side unconditionally, played a role in exacerbating the situation.
"As long as the inequality in the treatment against us continues, the Greek Cypriots should never be expected to come to a reconciliation," Ertuğruloğlu said.
The island of Cyprus has been divided into a Turkish Cypriot government in the north and a Greek Cypriot administration in the south since a 1974 military coup aimed at Cyprus' annexation by Greece. Turkey's military intervention stopped the persecution and violence against Turkish Cypriots by ultra-nationalist Greek Cypriots that spanned years.
The TRNC was established in 1983 on the northern tier of the island and is only recognized by Turkey. The country has faced an ongoing embargo on commerce, transportation and culture ever since.
Over the decades, there have been several attempts to resolve the Cyprus dispute, all amounting to nothing. The latest attempt held with the participation of each of the island's guarantor countries came to an end with no signs of progress in Switzerland in 2017.
Turkey, as a guarantor nation for the TRNC, is currently carrying out hydrocarbon exploration activities in the region. Ankara has consistently contested the Greek Cypriot administration's unilateral drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean, asserting that the TRNC also had the right to the region's resources.
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