Efforts by the Greek Cypriots, and Greece, to shape the region in line with their interests will be in vain, Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said on Monday.
Oktay who was in the north to take part in celebrations to mark the 1974 Turkish invasion that Ankara refers to as the ‘peace operation’, said in a parade speech: “The Greek Cypriots want to make the Turks of Cyprus pay the price for the non-solution they produced but the efforts of the Greek Cypriot-Greece duo to shape the region in line with their own interests are in vain.”
Oktay, who gave his address during the parade in the north of Nicosia, along with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, said the “latest example” was the “exploitation of the EU“ by Cyprus and Greece and their demand for sanctions against Turkey at the current summit. The trilateral partnerships the two countries were forming with other countries in the region were another example of this, Oktay said.
He said Turkey was trying with “constructive diplomacy” to expand cooperation to resolve all of the crises that exist in the eastern Mediterranean.
“Those who insist on playing games against us will be among the losers,” he added. “Now they have seen that no scenario that does not include Turkey can be realised.”
Referring to hydrocarbons, Oktay said Turkey was seeking a “fair distribution” of resources that would “make Cyprus an island of peace and stability”.
He also mentioned the fenced off area of Varosha in Famagusta, where he said work was continuing in consultation with Turkish Cypriot authorities for the reopening of the ghost town.
This year’s parade was more low-key due to the ongoing pandemic. It was attended by the military, police, firefighters and civil defence with an air display by the Turkish air force. Students were excluded due to the coronavirus.
In his address, Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci said the fact the Cyprus issue remains unsolved “causes the accumulation of other new problems”. He said the two sides must strive for a solution that takes care of the rights and interests of all parties.
“We have all observed how desperate even the world’s most expensive and sophisticated weapons-producing countries are left in the face of an invisible tiny virus,” he said, adding that this showed how important it was for humanity to allocate more resources to science, education and research, rather than arms.
“The pain of wars is great. For this reason, each of us must do our part to build a new future in peace and tranquility on our island, in our region and in the world. This beautiful island is enough for both communities.”