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Neophytou: we don’t take instructions from the Turkish side

Disy leader Averof Neophytou (CNA)

The Greek Cypriot side will not accept instructions from Turkey, ruling Disy leader Averof Neophytou said on Sunday, repeating that the reason for the deadlock in the talks was due to the upcoming Turkish constitutional referendum and not the House vote on Enosis.

Speaking on the sidelines of an event in Pano Polimidhia to honour Eokoa hero Gregoris Afxentiou, Neophytou was asked to comment on statement by UN Special Adviser Espen Barth Eide who has said the reason for the impasse was the vote allowing a 1950 referendum on union with Greece to be marked in schools.

Eide says the move, which angered the Turkish side and prompted Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci to walk away from the talks until the “mistake was rectified”, had dealt a serious blow to trust between the two leaders.

“I will not comment on any reports,” said Neophytou. “I will reaffirm the position of the Greek Cypriot side and the President of the Republic, as has been said many times recently, that we are ready to return to table. It was not President Anastasiades who left.”

Asked to comment on Akinci’s request to reverse the House decision, Neophytou said: “We do not accept instructions either from the Turkish Cypriot side nor from Turkey. We have our own opinions and positions.”

Neophytou said history – meaning the Enosis referendum – could not be wiped out and added that as the party said previously and has put forward as a proposal that such issues as commemorating the 1950 referendum should not concern the House but rather the ministry of education.

The original proposal for the event to be marked in schools was tabled by far-right Elam. Disy abstained from the vote, allowing it to go through. Akel was the only party to vote against.

Commenting on the political crisis that has erupted in the north where motions have been filed for no confidence and early elections, Neophytou said:

“These are internal problems for the Turkish Cypriot community and are related to the referendum in Turkey and to be honest, this is the real reason for the current impasse.”

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