The rise of far-right, “anti-Turkish” Elam in the parliamentary election justifies the Turkish side’s position for a two-state solution, Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar said Monday.
Tatar, but also ‘prime minister’ Ersan Saner, said the election results in the Republic confirmed the Turkish position that there could no longer be a federal solution in Cyprus.
Tatar argued that nationalist extremism was on the rise in the south, while left wing Akel, which supports a federal solution, has retreated, a negative development as regards a just, lasting, and viable agreement.
“Elam and its supporters back the view of a single state in the whole of Cyprus,” Tatar said. “We see that a mentality is rising that does not even consider that the Turkish Cypriots deserve the right to be a minority. The most frightening thing is that Elam gets its votes from the youth.”
The Turkish Cypriot leader said the reason for this was the fact that the education system in the Republic included extremist nationalism, admiration of Greece, the view that Cyprus is a Greek island, and admiration of Eoka.
Tatar expressed the view that with EU intervention the Greek Cypriot educational system had become more moderate during the Annan Plan period (2004), but that now the influence of extremist and nationalist currents was increasing.
He added that the educational system attempts to imprint Greek nationalism and the Greek flag in the children’s subconscious as well as that Cyprus is a Greek island and must be united with Greece.
He also noted that in the matches of the big football clubs, there is always the Greek flag.
“It seems that the interest of young people towards Elam is increasing. Therefore, I am watching this situation with concern. I see how realistic and appropriate to the realities of Cyprus is our new vision based on two states and on sovereign equality in Cyprus,” he added.
Tatar said the UN and other interlocutors on the Cyprus problem would see how serious this was.
“I see that these election results once again confirm what we say that there could no longer be an agreement on the federal base in Cyprus,” Tatar said.
In a written statement, Sener noted that the number of Elam MPs had doubled (four), adding it was a party that was “an enemy of the Turks.”
Saner also said that another point that draws attention is that all parties that participated in the elections agree on the full withdrawal of Turkish troops from Cyprus, abolishing Turkey’s right for unilateral military intervention, that in case of an agreement all Greek Cypriots will have the right to return to the north and a big part of ‘TRNC land’ will be given back to Greek Cypriots.
He added that this was a phenomenon that should be well assessed by everyone as regards what kind of mentality the north was faced with.
Saner expressed hope that the UN Security Council and the EU will understand this as soon as possible and will pave the way for an agreement in Cyprus and peace in the region.
The Turkish Cypriot leadership, with Turkey’s backing, had submitted during an informal summit on the Cyprus problem in Geneva in April, its position on a two-state solution. The proposal calls on the UN Security Council to recognise the north as a sovereign state which will then hold talks with the Republic of Cyprus on their future relationship.
They argue that the agreed solution framework of a bizonal bicommunal federation is outdated and cannot be discussed anymore due to lack of progress over the past five decades.