Turkey’s EU Minister and chief EU negotiator Volkan Bozkir has blamed the late Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash for the failure to reach a Cyprus solution “for many years”, according to Turkish daily Sabah.
Bozkir was commenting on the resignation of Serdar Denkatsh from the post of ‘deputy prime minister’ of the breakaway Turkish Cypriot state in the north. “The father of Serdar Denktash, the late Rauf Denktash was the TRNC’s hero and a historical name. However, the late Denktash was the reason for the non-solution of the Cyprus problem. For many years and in several phases when the solution was very close, he took a stance against it,” said Bozkir.
“I can say that he [Serdar] is his father’s son. He had always shared the same views. So, I consider his resignation as timely, since it is taking place in a period when the Cyprus negotiations have resumed and in a period when an opportunity for a solution has arisen.”
Denktash reacted strongly to Bozkir statements, describing them as a “huge political gaffe”.
He said he could not understand why a Turkish minister would say such a thing when two more ‘TRNC presidents, Mehmet Ali Talat and Dervis Eroglu had followed Denktash and yet there was still no solution. He blamed the Greek Cypriot side for that. Rauf Denktash was out of the negotiations picture by the time of the 2004 referendum. He died in 2012 aged 88.
Bozkir expressed the hope there would be a solution by September or shortly after, which would, he said enable Turkey to open some of the frozen chapters in its EU accession process.