Cyprus Mail

‘Turkish Cypriots’ future lies in European values’

CTP Leader Tufan Erhurman

The Turkish Cypriots’ future “lies in European values”, opposition party CTP leader Tufan Erhurman said on Monday.

Erhurman was speaking in ‘parliament’ about the north’s relationship with international law, and criticised some who have alluded to “the advantages of not being recognised”.

These “advantages”, he said, “are the things which are causing us trouble today.”

He referenced matters such as smuggling and human trafficking, which have come to the fore with heightened sensitivity regarding the north’s higher education sector in light of the ongoing “fake diploma scandal”.

He said measures taken against human trafficking which are “done easily in other countries” cannot be carried out in the north.

This money is not clean money. Unclean money drives out clean money. An unclean person also drives out a clean person,” he said.

With this in mind, he said efforts had been made in the past to align the north with international law, pointing to the establishment of the Immovable Property Commission as an example.

He said the commission is “an example of a relationship we have with international law despite our lack of recognition,” but lamented the fact that further similar steps have not been taken by those who hold the levers of power in the north.

“We passed European Union harmonisation laws, what happened as a result of that? There is a committee on EU harmonisation in parliament, and it is treated as if it does not exist. Those who claim to rule the country right now do not care. They are taking us out of the international community,” he said.

He added, “the Turkish Cypriot people’s future lies in European values … Unless international standards guide us, many things will happen to us. We need to talk about the system now.

“We need to talk about why our system produces these results. This system made some people rich. Did our lack of system in itself ensure social justice in this country? Did it provide fair income distribution?”

He said that the north’s retreat from the international community has left it “in a worse condition than even 10 years ago”.

To this end, he touched on the Cyprus problem, saying “we are a people who have demonstrated our will to solve the Cyprus problem and therefore to meet with the international community.

“The reason for the lack of a solution in this country, especially in the post-2004 period, is the Greek Cypriot leadership.”

He went on to say that the existence of a solution process is “very important for the continued existence of the Turkish Cypriot people”, but that those in power in the north at the moment are in fact “very satisfied with the status quo”.

In this regard, he said to the Turkish Cypriot leadership that “today, you have made criteria for the resumption of negotiations that the international community does not understand at all and that we do not understand either. It is not even clear what you want.”

He added, “you cannot get anywhere by putting forward self-contradictory positions,” and called on the north’s ‘parliament’ to move to address the issue.

“We are faced with a structure which is falling apart,” he said, adding that the current status quo is “alienating the Turkish Cypriot people from the international community.”

“It is not possible to make the Turkish Cypriot people’s existence sustainable in isolation from the international community,” he said.

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