Turkish-Cypriot Self-Declared Premier Blames Cypriots for Unity Failures

FILE - Tufan Erhurman, the prime minister of the self-declared Turkish Cypriot state in the north of the divided island, reviews a military honour guard with Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim during a ceremony at the Cankaya Palace in Ankara, Turkey, Wednesday, March 7, 2018. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

Tufan Erhurman, the self-declared Prime Minister of the northern third of Cyprus unlawfully occupied by Turkish-Cypriots since a 1974 invasion, said unity talks have been a failure because of what he said was intransigence by the legitimate Cypriot government.

He said the prospect of any more talks after the collapse of the last round in July, 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana – because Turkey insisted on keeping an army in the occupied territory and wanted the right to militarily intervene again – was dependent on what he said would be a result-oriented agenda and set time frame.

In an interview with the Turkish state Anadolu Agency in London, where he was attending various meetings, Erhurman said Turkish-Cypriot and Turkish leaders wouldn’t put up with what he called time-wasting techniques by the Cypriot side.

He said it’s been the Turkish-Cypriots and Turks who want a solution. “There was a reality accepted by all international actors in Crans-Montana: The Turkish Cypriot side and the Turkish Republic exhibited a serious will, which even astonished the Greek Cypriots,” he said.

“This will was for reaching a just and sustainable solution as soon as possible. However, the Greek Cypriot side, especially (Cypriot President) Nicos Anastasiades, displayed a behavior that they did not come to Crans-Montana prepared for a solution there,” he said.

“For the first time, the Greek Cypriot side gave messages to [UN] authorities […] behind closed doors that they could discuss formulas such as a two-state solution and confederation,” he said.

“They opened definitions such as ‘loose federation’ or ‘decentralized federation’ to discussion in public, and in a way, they scrambled up the situation,” he added, blaming Anastasiades for bringing up concepts like “political equality.”

He said that Anastasiades “tried to take away in time the moral superiority that the Turkish side gained with its positive attitude in the Annan Plan vote and Crans-Montana,” referring to a 2004 referendum devised by the late former United Nations leader Kofi Annan backed by Turkish-Cypriots but rejected by Cypriots.