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Ertugruloglu: Not showing Turkish Cypriot youth ‘who enemy is’ is wrong

tahsin ertugruloglu
File photo: Tahsin Ertugruloglu

The north’s ‘foreign minister’ Tahsin Ertugruloglu made fresh statements about the Cyprus problem on Wednesday, saying Turkish Cypriot youth have been raised with the “wrong attitude” and have not been “shown who the enemy is”.

Ertugruloglu was speaking to Kibris Postasi TV and said “young people are being taught nothing to avoid instilling hostility into them.”

“If a person does not know the prices paid until this point, he cannot know the value of what he has. Not showing them who the enemy is the wrong attitude,” he said.

He added, “it is a good thing that our young people do not have hostile views, but it is a deficiency that they cannot determine where the danger lies.”

Turning his attention to the matter of the appointment of a United Nations special envoy to Cyprus, he said “we responded positively … provided that they do not go and search for common ground for a federation.”

“The Turkish side’s position is to try to find common ground on the basis of two states,” he added.

To this end, he said “there are two distinct peoples and two equally sovereign states in Cyprus. Non-recognition does not mean there is no state.”

“There is no point trying to pin the Turkish Cypriots to expectations which cannot come true. This is the truth. This issue cannot even be discussed,” he said.

He added, “talks for a federation can never come back onto the agenda. There is zero chance of deviating from our policy of accepting the sovereign equality and equal international status of the TRNC. A ‘partnership’ option has been eliminated.”

Additionally, he said “the idea of giving up on the state by citing the government’s mistakes and shortcomings as justification is extremely wrong. This does not have a well-intentioned logic.”

He added, “the acceptance of the Greek Cypriot side as the Republic of Cyprus is the real problem. There can be no solution if they continue to be recognised as the Republic of Cyprus. How can the problem be solved with this understanding?”

He also said that “lessons should be learned” in Cyprus from the ongoing crisis in Gaza.

“The most important point is Turkey’s guarantee. Turkey’s guarantee in Cyprus cannot be abandoned,” he said.

He also criticised the United Nations’ stance regarding the crisis and said that for this reason “we cannot trust any guarantee other than that of our motherland, Turkey. We need to learn this lesson.”

Additionally, he touched on the currently hot topic of property sales to third country nationals in the north, and said “this is a serious problem, but in my opinion, it was not brought up in the right way.”

“There are some who think the solution is to ban the sale of all property to third country nationals. I have never been in favour of this,” he said.

He instead proposed a compromise solution, saying “the TRNC cannot become a country that prohibits the sale of property to third country nationals. Buildings can be sold [to them], but land should not be sold.”

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