Without Turkey’s guarantees, the day after Turkish troops withdraw from Cyprus will bring conflict, and Turkish Cypriots will not even be able to leave their homes, Turkish Cypriot media reported the north’s ‘prime minister’ Huseyin Ozgurgun as saying on Monday.
According to press reports, Ozgurgun told a Turkish Cypriot television channel that the negotiation at the international Conference on Cyprus later this month in Switzerland “must be the last one”.
“If there is a deal, good – if not, there will not be a federal solution, there will be two adjacent states, and the United Nations will have to acknowledge this,” Ozgurgun was reported as saying.
“It’s as simple as that.”
He added that the withdrawal of Turkish troops will create tensions, and that Turkey’s guarantees must under no circumstances be abolished.
Under the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee, the constitutional order of the Republic of Cyprus was guaranteed by Greece, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.
Referring to the conference on Cyprus, Ozgurgun said it is very important since, in addition to the two sides, the guarantor powers will also participate, adding that, if the Switzerland meeting does not yield results it would be pointless to repeat the process.
He claimed that, unlike the Greek Cypriot side, the Turkish Cypriots have the political will required to solve the problem.
Ozgurgun dismissed rumours that the withdrawal of 80 per cent of the Turkish troops in the north has been agreed, arguing that the Turkish forces in Cyprus are the reason the island has seen peace.
With regard to the issue of territory, he said that a proposal by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to connect the Kokkina enclave in Cyprus’ north-west with the territory of what will be the Turkish Cypriot constituent state, in exchange for returning Varosha to the Greek Cypriots, is “the official position”, presumably of the Turkish Cypriot side.
On energy, Ozgurgun said the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey share the view that any hydrocarbons found in the area belong equally to the two sides, and that the Turkish Cypriots will not waive their rights to Cyprus’ natural wealth.