NICOSIA – Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said Greece doesn’t want to talk about solving the problem of Cyprus being split for 48 years after Turkish invasions although he said only acceptance of the occupied territory is acceptable.
Vowing to protect the rights of Turkish-Cypriots on the northern third of the island, who make up only about 20 percent of the population, Akar said that Greece is an obstacle to finding an answer.
Turkey and Greece, along with the former Colonial ruler the United Kingdom, which still has military bases there, are guarantors of security, although there’s a United Nations peacekeeping force as well.
Akar said that Greece is avoiding discussions – although Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan broke off all communications after blaming Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis for trying to block the United States from selling Turkey more F-16’s and upgrading the Turkish Air Force.
Akar didn’t explain the contradiction of not wanting to talk to Turkey when Turkish officials aren’t allowed to talk to Greek officials – apart from their defense ministers – and Erdogan said Mitsotakis “doesn’t exist” for him.
“Greece will regrettably not sit down for talks; it will not listen; it keeps lying. Every minute, every second, there is a lie. We are tired of calling out the lies,” Akar said, reported Kathimerini.
“The mistakes of the Greek government are now evident to some Greek politicians, retired generals and admirals, academics, people in the media and Greeks who have common sense,” he said.
“The right is on our side; and we are strong because the right is on our side. We are ready to sit down and talk. However, we have the determination and the power to protect the rights and the interests of Turkey and of our 85 million people, as well as the rights of our Cypriot brothers,” he said.
He didn’t mention that Turkish-Cypriot hardline leader Ersin Tatar, who said he would do whatever Erdogan tells him, doesn’t want reunification and insists that the UN recognize the occupied land which no other country in the world apart from Turkey does.