Retired General Ilker Basbug, former Chief of the Turkish General Staff, has said that the Treaties of Alliance and Guarantees in Cyprus concerns Turkey, Greece and the UK as guarantor powers and that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci has no say on this issue.
In statements during a TV programme, Basbug said: “He [Akinci] has no legal authority. These treaties concern three states: Turkey, Greece and Britain. There is a proposal for totally lifting the Treaty of Guarantees and partially lifting the Treaty of Alliance in Cyprus. The TRNC president has no right to have a say on the Treaties of Guarantees and Alliance.”
He added that the UN Secretary-General had said the guarantees should be lifted and that Akinci had responded that it could be discussed. “No one comes out to ask him: ‘Do you have the authority to have a say on this issue?’ The issue of guarantees and alliance is neither an issue of the people living in the TRNC nor of the TRNC parliament. This is an issue of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) and it [the TGNA] is the only one who will have a say”.
The statements caused some reaction in the north. Chairman of the United Cyprus Party (BKP) Izzet Izcan described them as “wrong, unfortunate and unacceptable”.
In a written statement on Monday, Izcan said that the Cypriot people should be put in the centre of any discussion about their future without allowing the foreign powers to interfere. “The president of the republic [Akinci] has the right to talk, express views and submit demands on every issue which concerns this country,” he said.