Cyprus Mail
Cyprus Talks

Akinci fears Turkish Cypriots being sidelined in talks process

By Evie Andreou

If Turkey holds frequent contacts with the Greek Cypriots, then Greece should do the same with Turkish Cypriots, Mustafa Akinci said on Friday.

The Turkish Cypriot leader was commenting on statements by Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, who had said that as regards the Cyprus problem, they were talking with everyone, including the Greek Cypriots.

According to Turkish Cypriot Bayrak TV, Akinci, pointed out that it was necessary and right for the guarantor powers to carry out a meeting between them but also together with the other related parties. Instead of quarrelling, Akinci said, it is rather helpful to establish dialogue.

“In this context, Mr Cavusoglu informed us about their intention to establish contacts with the Greek Cypriot side. I do not think that an unofficial meeting in the framework of investigating the intentions of the sides would be inconvenient,” Akinci said.

He added, however, that if such contacts become frequent it could lead to the perception that the Turkish Cypriot side has been sidelined from the entire process.

On the other hand, the perception that the Greek Cypriots had succeeded in achieving their goal of negotiating directly with Turkey, which has been their desire for years, he said, would only do serious damage to the process and settlement efforts.

Akinci stressed that it should never be forgotten that there are two equal sides in Cyprus, one of which is the Turkish Cypriot people and its democratic leadership.

“The Turkish Cypriot side should not be seen as an insignificant detail and no opportunity should be given for the Turkish Cypriots to be seen in this way”, he said.

Akinci said that if Turkey meets with the Greek Cypriot side and if there is frequency in such meetings then Greece must do the same with the Turkish Cypriot side.

He said that during the negotiations, the Greek Cypriot side did not agree to a proposed meeting between the two leaders, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

The Turkish Cypriot leader also said that the Greek Cypriot side had put obstacles to another proposal concerning President Nicos Anastasiades’ visit to Ankara in return to Akinci’s visit to Athens.