Turkey wants its citizens to enjoy the four freedoms in Cyprus after a solution like Greek nationals, the country’s Vice President Tugrul Turkes has said.
Turkes said if this demand was not accepted then neither must Greek nationals enjoy the four freedoms in Cyprus. The demand had been tabled during the negotiations.
“We said that the four freedoms must be granted to the Turkish side also,” he said during a speech on Wednesday. “Free movement for workers, freedom of entrance, exit, capital, etc.”
He said the two sides were not close on that so Turkey tabled a second proposal.
“If you see these as privileges for us then let us ensure that Greeks too will be deprived of the things we will be deprived of.”
Greek nationals enjoy the freedoms as part of EU membership.
Turkes said Ankara will make a move on guarantees when its demands were agreed.
The Turkish vice president also raised the population issue, suggesting that the number of Turkish Cypriots was higher than the 220,000 used during the negotiations.
Turkes said over 300,000 Turks (it is understood that he meant Turkish Cypriots) lived in the north and a large number of the population had also migrated to various parts of the world like Britan, Australia, Canada, and Turkey.
“It is not important if they live in Cyprus or not. What is important is that they are Turkish Cypriots,” he said.
Turkes said Turkish Cypriots living abroad should have been included in the number so that their rights were ensured in case of a solution.
He also said that it would be wrong to think that Turkey is interested in Cyprus because there was a Turkish community there.
“First of all, even if there were no Turks living in Cyprus, for Turkey there would have been a Cyprus problem and it is not possible to give up on that. It must be known that Cyprus is of vital importance in the context of the Eastern Mediterranean,” he said.