Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar has condemned recent comments made by his predecessor between 2005 and 2010 Mehmet Ali Talat on the Cyprus problem, saying “they are of no benefit to the Turkish Cypriots”.

Talat appeared on Astra Radio on Saturday, and expressed doubt those in favour of a two-state solution know what they want. He added that such a proposal is neither structured nor detailed and has weak supporting arguments.

He later described the proposal for a two-state solution as unserious and said he expects “some changes in attitude” from the Turkish Cypriot and Turkish leadership on the issue.

On that front, he said he has already “noticed a slight change” in Turkish rhetoric regarding the Cyprus problem.

He warned, however, that this alone is not enough for negotiations and said it is still too early to understand whether that shift in rhetoric will become anything more meaningful.

Finally, he said progress made in previous negotiations should be preserved and the convergences reached so far should not only be taken into account but accepted as the basis for future negotiations.

In response, Tatar said he was “saddened” by Talat’s comments and that the Greek Cypriot side will “exploit [Talat’s words] and use them against us”.

He added that it is “not correct” for Talat to air his grievances via a Greek Cypriot media outlet.

“Such an approach is done in the name of weakening [our] politics and we will not respect such a thing”, he said.

He added that “Mehmet Ali Talat, while he was running things in the time of the Annan Plan, could not find what he wanted or inspected … Mehmet Ali Talat knows very well that 65 per cent of us said ‘yes’ and 76 per cent of them said ‘no’ to the Annan Plan”.

He went on to speak about the period between 2008 and 2010 when Talat, late President Demetris Christofias, Akel, and the CTP, all left-wing and ostensibly pro-federation actors, were in power in Cyprus.

“That quartet, that is, two presidents and two parties reciprocally, who are always comrades, and despite this Mehmet Ali Talat has a statement saying ‘shall I hang myself in Sarayonu square?’ from his disappointment”, he said.

He added that Talat’s statements were “not pleasant” before moving onto the issue of previous negotiations.

He also that Talat’s statements were “not pleasant” and that they will “harm the national politics of Cyprus”.