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Politics

Turkish-Cypriot Official Says Greece, Cyprus Don’t Want Unity

February 11, 2021

NICOSIA — The self-declared prime minister of the occupied northern third of Cyprus said the legitimate Greek-Cypriot government and Greece don’t want to resolve differences, only a federation he said would exclude his side from equal rights.

Ersan Saner supported the demand by the Turkish-Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar – parroting Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan – for the answer to be two states which would bring recognition to the isolated occupied territory that was seized by Turkey in two unlawful 1974 invasions.

“The Greek-Greek Cypriot duo does not intend to resolve the Cyprus matter in an acceptable agreement,” said Saner, to Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis insisting on a bizonal bicommunal federation, said Turkey’s state-run Anadolu News Agency.

“Their dream is to disconnect Turkey from the Cyprus Island and Turkish-Cypriots, make us a patch with minority rights on the alleged Republic of Cyprus, which has been turning into a Greek state, and to take the island under the hegemony of the Greek nation’s interests,” he added.

Saner noted: “The Greece-Greek Cypriot duo is still against building a new partnership. They say openly that they expect the alleged Republic of Cyprus to evolve to become a federal state, and us to be a patch on that structure."

He added that, “They intend to exclude us from the decisions to be taken, deprive us of our right of veto which we had even during the time of Republic of Cyprus, which was founded in 1960,” he added.

He rejected Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades saying that the guarantor of security scheme on the island that involves Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom was outdated.

“It is thanks to those guarantees that we as Turkish Cypriots can still exist on this island with our own identities,” he said, his side having wanted 50-50 representation in a federation although being 20 percent of the population.

Referring to Mitsotakis, he said that, “If there is an occupying party on Cyprus, it is the Greek side who dismissed us from the Republic of Cyprus by force of arms, and who claim our mutual state its own.”

Anastasiades said reunification of the island should include the end of the guarantor system and the withdrawal of Turkey's troops from Cyprus.

It was the refusal of Erdogan and then-Turkish-Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci to remove a 35,000-strong standing army which collapsed the last round of reunification secret talks at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana in July, 2017, ending another failure.

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