Picking up on a new mantra as a way to deal with a divided Cyprus, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar repeated that the only topic of discussion is recognition for the occupied northern third and two states.
That would bring permanent partition and boot any hope of a federation that has been the failed approach for decades, with Akar following the lead of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Turkish-Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar.
They all now want permanent partition but for the isolated territory unaccepted by any other country besides Turkey to gain recognition, which Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades said he'll never accept.
That could doom, at least for now, any idea of reunification that had been the centerpiece of constantly failed negotiations, the last round collapsing in July, 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana when Erdogan and then Turkish-Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci saying a 35,000-strong army wouldn't leave.
Tatar said he wants cooperation with Greece too but only if the two states are accepted, which Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has ruled out although both Greece and Cyprus – a member of the European Union that Turkey has fruitlessly been trying to join since 2005 – support its entry into the bloc.
“We will not allow our rights to be violated, as well as those of the Turkish-Cypriots,” said Akar, reported Kathimerini.
Speaking to Turkish troops returning from Afghanistan, Akar said there's no wiggle room for discussing anything else and that he doesn't care what Greece or the United Kingdom, who, with Turkey, are guarantors of security on the island, think about it.
“Everyone must understand our position for two equal sovereign states in Cyprus and we expect everyone to contribute for this to happen,” he said, drawing a line there.
Tatar said he will use his time at the September opening of the United Nations General Assembly in New York to insist on two states, wanting the backing of the institution although he has violated UN resolutions in further reopening the abandoned resort of Varosha in the occupied territory.