The Republican Turkish Party (CTP) in the north said on Wednesday that it is collaborating with left-wing party Akel to breach the gap between the two communities created by Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar.

The Secretary General of the Republican Turkish Party, Asim Akansoi, said the need to create joint working groups emerged in a meeting held last September with Akel. The meeting also revealed their common understanding regarding views on a federal solution, he was quoted as saying by the press and information office in the north, citing Yeni Duzen.

This need, he said, arose from the fact that life goes on and expectations and daily problems outweigh the main objective. Therefore, he added, they concluded that it would be useful to create a working space where, while maintaining the main objective of reaching out through federation, they could discuss day-to-day problems, confidence-building measures and even the process of negotiating federation.

Akansoi described the event as a very important development, because for the first time a different avenue has been created, as until now the agenda of the meetings has been about the Cyprus problem in its broader dimension.

In the first stage, working groups were set up and meetings were held on five different thematic areas, namely economy, energy, ecology and environment, health and education.

Asked whether the CTP opened a new path on the road leading to federation by creating committees similar to the bi-communal technical committees, the T/C politician said they worked to fill the gap Tatar created between the two communities.

At a first stage, Akansoi explained that Akel and CTP officials and experts are working in the committees, but this is not absolute. Experts on various issues under discussion can be invited, or different opinions can be presented and politicians, citizens and experts can contribute under the umbrella of the federation, he added. The coordinator for the RTC is Fikri Toros, while for Akel it is Elias Demetriou.

As regards to how the findings of the working groups will be used, Akansoi said that they will primarily be communicated to the central committees of both parties.

He said that as the period after the elections in Turkey and Greece contains a high probability of creating an obvious initiative on the Cyprus problem, the T/C party cannot afford to sit and wait.

“We have to be ready for any eventuality and we will intensify this work,” Akansoi said.