By George Psyllides
TURKISH PRESIDENT Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday it would be impossible for his country to accept a solution that did not entail two states and political equality as he called on Greece to adopt a more positive approach in reunification talks as a guarantor country.
“Political equality is a must,” he said during a news conference in the Turkish occupied northern part of the island, his first official visit since he was elected president of Turkey.
“Everyone must know that Turkey will never accept a Greek Cypriot government turn Turkish Cypriots into a minority,” Erdogan said.
The government condemned the visit and said the comments the Turkish president made were not in line with UN resolutions.
“We also consider unacceptable the frequent call for the involvement of Greece in the dialogue in an effort to equate the responsibilities for the ongoing occupation in Cyprus for which Turkey is solely responsible,” government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides said in a statement.
The spokesman also pointed out that Turkey’s pronouncements regarding its desire to contribute to reunification were nothing but empty words.
“The repetition of statements such as ‘Turkey will always be one step ahead,’ remain, so far, devoid of any content since in practice the policies that Ankara follows demonstrate just the opposite,” Christodoulides said.
The Turkish president said his country supported a fair, viable and comprehensive solution and it was impossible for them to accept unfair proposals.
“We fully support the efforts of the Turkish Cypriot side for a bicommunal (federation), political equality, two founding states, in a new co-operation on the basis of the UN parameters,” Erdogan said.
Turkey hoped efforts made since 2008 would yield results, he added.
“Everyone should understand that the current window of opportunity will not remain open forever. Nobody has the right to use the time given by the UN and keep the Turkish side and the international community waiting,” Erdogan said.
He also announced that Turkey will supply water to the north in two to three months, followed by electricity.
The Turkish president said the water was not only for the north but for the whole of Cyprus “as long as they (Greek Cypriots) take the hand of peace we are offering”.
Erdogan also denied having received a letter from President Nicos Anastasiades, which had been taken to Ankara by Greek Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos last week.
But the government spokesman told the state broadcaster later on Monday that they knew “the letter had been delivered to the recipient”.
Anastasiades’ letter was made up of two short paragraphs, one congratulating Erdogan for winning the first direct presidential elections in Turkey and the second expressing hope that he would make a personal contribution to achieve a Cyprus problem solution which would benefit all interested parties.
All the Greek Cypriot political parties condemned Erdogan’s visit.
By George Psyllides