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Turkish Cypriot ‘PM’ pledges new direction over Cyprus problem

Turkish Cypriot 'prime minister' Ersin Tatar

New Turkish Cypriot ‘prime minister’ Ersin Tatar has said he would soon be taking new steps regarding the Cyprus problem and the economy, Turkish Cypriot media reported on Wednesday.

During a reception to celebrate Bayram organised by his party, the National Unity Party (UBP), he said that the Cyprus problem was one of the issues he had discussed with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during his visit in Istanbul earlier in the week.

Tatar expressed his satisfaction with his and ‘foreign minister’ Kudret Ozersay’s contacts in Turkey, adding that the ‘government’ would take steps on the Cyprus problem, economy and other political issues.

Highlighting the divide between himself and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, he reiterated that a federal solution was no longer possible since the Greek Cypriot side understood it differently from the Turkish Cypriots.

He argued that the situation now was different compared to four years ago when Akinci was elected. Tatar said that Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu had stayed for 11 days at the talks in Crans-Montana in the summer of 2017 and got angry because he saw how “insincere” the other side was and what President Nicos Anastasiades had done to avoid reaching a federal solution.

“In their view, it is a structure in which the majority governs the minority […] and at the end of the day it is a unitary state. Turkey does not exist in this model. Neither do its guarantees nor its army. In this environment, we will be annihilated,” he said.

Tatar repeated that there are two separate states in Cyprus which both ought to separately exist within the EU.

He said that while in Istanbul, he discussed with Erdogan the north’s economic problems, the Cyprus problem and hydrocarbons in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Tatar argued that the common goal with Turkey was for the north to become a “developed country” and for the hydrocarbon issues to “reach a result within the framework of justice”.

“We do not set an eye on anyone’s freedom, state and rights, but we will not allow anyone to ignore our state, freedom and rights,” he said.

Turkish Cypriot media reported that Tatar and Ozersay discussed with Erdogan and Turkish officials the transfer of electricity from Turkey to the north with undersea cables, decreasing fares between Turkey and the north to boost tourism, and the economic protocol which concerns the monetary aid from Turkey to the north.

Ozersay announced that during the meeting with Erdogan they discussed some formulas for resuming the flow of money from Turkey to the north.

“We think that within the forthcoming period, the flow of resources will resume,” he added.

The two men reportedly also discussed drilling for hydrocarbons and steps to be taken by Turkey and the north as a response to what they call “unilateral” drilling of the Republic of Cyprus and their future plans.

Meanwhile, Turkey’s Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Donmez said that they would start drilling at the beginning of July at a location in the Mediterranean Sea ‘licensed’ by the breakaway regime.



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