Under the title ‘Turkey’s vision for Cyprus’, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, in an op-ed published in the Washington Times on Sunday said a Cyprus solution would contain the EU’s four freedoms, and the 1960 guarantees would remain.
“The EU will ensure that the basic parameters of the settlement are legally anchored within its primary law. A balance between Greece and Turkey will be struck, meaning that Turkish nationals will be treated on an equal footing with Greek nationals exclusively on the Island,” Cavusoglu wrote.
“Safeguards will be put in place to prevent any recurrence of the tragic events of the past. The robust framework provided by the existing Treaties of Guarantee and Alliance will continue to ensure the future stability of the island, where the presence of Turkish forces in the north has effectively been averting any further outbreak of conflict for over four decades.”
The Greek Cypriot side has rejected both notions on numerous occasions. They say Greeks have the four freedoms in Cyprus by virtue of being EU members and that it cannot apply to Turkish nationals in Cyprus.
Cavusoglu also wrote that the two sides on the island must be politically equal.
He also said that opinion polls in the north “clearly indicate that the vast majority of Turkish Cypriots will not accept a settlement that does not entail Turkish guarantees”.
“Given their traumatic experiences at the hands of the Greek Cypriots in the ‘60s and early ‘70s, no one can blame them,” he said. “They were and still are two distinct peoples with different religions, cultures and ethnicities”.
Turkey’s vision for the future of Cyprus, he added was to transform the island “into a bastion of peace, stability, cooperation and economic prosperity.”