Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci said on Sunday the frequent references by the Greek Cypriot side to a ‘painful solution’ were extremely disturbing and said neither side should expect an ‘ideal solution’ but should embrace what was realistic and possible without sending the wrong message to the people.
Akinci was speaking at an event to mark the 32nd anniversary of the Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) of the ‘Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus’ on November 15, 1983.
“In the frequent statements made by the Greek Cypriot side a bizonal federation is referred to as not the ‘ideal solution’ but rather a ‘painful compromise’,” read parts of his speech posted on Twitter.
“This is an extremely disturbing statement. This gives the message to the Greek Cypriot community that a solution, before it has even been reached is not going to be an ideal one. Also it is constantly emphasised that it is going to be painful. Then the question of what is ideal comes to the fore. If the ideal is a ‘unitary state’ where the Greek Cypriot community will be the sovereign, and the Turkish Cypriot community will be the minority, then it should be already understood that this is not and will never be possible,” Akinci added.
“If the ‘unitary state’ will be given to the Greek Cypriots as the message of an ‘ideal solution’… in that case the Turkish Cypriots will be entitled to regard a confederation consisting of two states as an ideal. But it is well known that this option is also not possible under the current circumstances.”
Akinci said the main thing to realise is what was possible and that was a bizonal bicommunal federation. “We should leave aside the impossible as an ideal and focus on realising what is feasible. Possible is what is real and we need to prepare our communities exactly for that,” he said.
He also said the two communities would be the real owners of a settlement and that its sustainability would be closely related to how they embrace the settlement.
Akicni also said that working hard for the strengthening of the ‘Turkish Republic Northern Cyprus’ in every aspect did not mean perpetuating the separation. “It rather means preparing for an equal and strong partnership. It’s high time the Greek Cypriot side understood this simple fact. Bearing in mind that we will be partners after a solution, they should give up approaching every positive development in the north negatively,” he added.
Akinci said the Cyprus talks were at an important turning point but should not be continued indefinitely without results. He repeated that if there was political will and determination there could be a solution by May next year.
Meanwhile the UDI was condemned by the government and the Greek Cypriot political parties.
Government Spokesman Nicos Christodoulides said on Sunday the Greek Cypriot side would continue its struggle aiming at reunifying the island on the basis of a bizonal bicommunal federation, ruling out any form of partition.
“The declaration of the pseudo-state was condemned and is still being condemned today, since a lawful outcome cannot be produced as a result of an illegal act such as the use of military force,” the spokesman said.
“We continue our struggle on the basis of international law and of European law and principles, aiming at the reunification of Cyprus on the basis of a bizonal bicommunal federation, with one single sovereignty, one single citizenship and one single international personality, with political equality as defined in the relevant UN resolutions,” he added
In a written statement, ruling DISY said the illegal 1983 action had been combined with a systematic policy of artificially alteration the character and demographics of the occupied areas, leaving Turkish Cypriots to suffer the limbo of “this illegal arrangement’ for decades until the opening of the barriers in 2003.
Since then, the party said, there was a massive move for passports and ID cards of the Republic though there was still a contradiction as Turkish Cypriots are also registered “as citizens of an illegal state’.
With negotiations underway, the party called for an honourable compromise that it said should include the Turkish side abandoning the notion of a separate state in Cyprus.
Opposition DIKO said the aim of Turkey was and still is, to use the Turkish Cypriot community “as a bridgehead to abolish the Republic of Cyprus”.
“The TRNC will remain non-existent legal entity, only as long as the Republic of Cyprus continues to exist and if we do not allow or proceed towards actions that allow it to be upgraded,” said the party.
“Unfortunately, over the past seven years, the policy of the governments in Cyprus provided the opportunity for the Turkish side to seek the upgrading of the institutions and of the officials of the puppet regime. Therefore, the Democratic Party urges the government once again to work in order to protect and the continuation of the Cyprus Republic as a cornerstone in the effort to find a solution to the Cyprus problem.”
AKEL leader Andros Kyprianou in a speech at an event on Saturday said the UDI had been a “lasting crime” that will only be mitigated by a Cyprus solution and not one that involves the concept of a unitary state that he said some of the rejectionists were demanding.
“They said we should go to the United Nations and tell them that we regret agreeing to a federation years ago and then ask them to support us?” he said.
“What do we think the answer will be? To appeal to the Turkish Cypriot community and tell them what? We want a unitary state? What will be the answer to that? The permanent division of Cyprus,” he added. A”fter 1974 the only route to a solution has always been an honest and painful compromise of a bizonal bicommunal federation.” Kyprianou said, adding that even Makarios had the wisdom to realise that “we could not turn the clock back”.
“If today we believe we can turn back time and claim something similar or better than what we had in the ’60s, then we are worthy of our destiny”.