The 4th President of TRNC
Mustafa Akıncı addresses the people
Mustafa Akıncı who was elected as the new President at the second round of elections which was held last Sunday started his duty officially after the handover ceremony which was held at the Presidency today 30th April.
After the Oath-taking ceremony which was held at 16:00pm at the Assembly and the handover ceremony which took place at 17:30pm at the Presidency, Akıncı took over the duty from the 3rd President Dr.Derviş Eroğlu.
The 4th President of TRNC Mustafa Akıncı made the following speech at the handover ceremony:
After the elections held on 19th and 26th April 2015, I would like to thank you for being here with us today to be a witness of this great responsibility as I take over as the 4th President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus; I would like to greet with endearment and respect our citizens who are watching us through different channels of communication.
At the beginning of my speech, I commemorate our founding President of the TRNC the late Rauf Denktaş, who is not with us today, with respect for his great services to our society. On behalf of our people and myself, I would like to thank the 2nd President Mehmet Ali Talat and also Dr. Derviş Eroğlu, from whom I am taking over the duty as of today, for their services.
I wish health and well-being to the 3rd President Dr. Derviş Eroğlu and his wife Meral Eroğlu in their lives ahead.
As you all know, I began my active political life at a fairly young age. At the age of 27, I was a member of the Constituent Assembly of the Turkish Federated State of Cyprus established in 1975 and a year later at the age of 28, I started to serve as the first elected Mayor of the Nicosia Turkish Municipality.
My period in community service lasted from 1975 until 2009, I did not become a candidate for a parliamentary seat in the general elections held that year and I left the party chairmanship two years ago. In fact, it was not a detachment from politics, but leaving the seat. I believe that being able to leave the seat if necessary is important and right. This was not a break from politics; because I do not perceive politics as the only authority, party chairmanship or deputyship. If politics is a struggle to make life more beautiful, which I believe it is, I continue to do so.
As so, I wrote a book of 500 pages where I refer to my experiences from 28 to 42 years of my youth in being Mayor of the Nicosia Municipality. I believe I made a serious contribution to the others after me, because when I started my job I felt the shortage of resources.
In the last 5 years, I was not active in political life, and our people thought this was reasonable at first, then after suggestions and encouragements regarding the Presidential elections from people of various societies, I decided to be a candidate; because it had become an unavoidable responsibility.
I would like you to know that the reasons for why our citizens wanted my candidacy formed the basis of my 4th dimensional political vision. This vision that I shared consistently during our election campaign was supported greatly and gained a social dimension.
This is not just a vision of my own; it belongs to our people, it is the demands of our people. In this framework, we explained these opinions to our people and received approval, which means it is an agreement I made with my people and it is the most important document that is binding. There is no doubt that I will act accordingly as long as I am in office.
The issue that remains unresolved in Cyprus and created the status quo is not sustainable; it poses serious threats both for our island and for our region’s peace and tranquility. As stipulated by the United Nations parameters and finally expressed in the text of a joint statement dated February 11th, 2014; both sides have a lot to benefit from a bi-zonal, bi-communal federal solution. Such a solution will also contribute to regional stability. In this context, I will act decisively with a solution-oriented approach and will reflect the people’s will at the negotiating table.
Next week, we will have contact with the UN Secretary General’s Special Adviser on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide and try to contribute to the preparation of the infrastructure of the new negotiation process. I believe that the lost opportunity of a solution during the European Union period 10 years ago has a chance once again.
It is enough that all parties agree on the point that it is a common need and meet at the beneficial denominator with a common vision from which all parties will benefit.
When the Republic of Cyprus under the management of Greek Cypriots entered the European Union, their economy collapsed after the wrong economic decisions, and natural gas in the Eastern Mediterranean has created a new dynamic for a solution to the Cyprus problem. Instead of fighting over the natural gas that has not yet been extracted to the surface, it is the most rational, fastest and least costly way to agree on how to share the wealth and with a solution together to move this gas to Europe via Turkey.
The natural gas wealth beneath our seas, the 9,000 square kilometers of territory of this island, the water that we expect to come to the island from Turkey – all taking into consideration of Turkish Republic authorities – we should show the ability to share these in equitable measures. In addition, establishing a future based on equality, security and peace, where parties will not dominate each other is hard to achieve but is also a necessary task. It is our greatest desire to see that the leadership in the South shares the same vision with us.
Of course, I believe that in addition to a comprehensive solution agreement, in a parallel process, implementing various confidence-building measures that will contribute to daily life have special importance.
In this context, we will seek an agreement on the opening of closed Maras to settlement under UN supervision and while opening this simultaneously overcoming the bottlenecks the Turkish Cypriot people experience in the trade and tourism sector, and using Famagusta Port and Ercan Airport for direct trade and direct flights. I believe that while these will contribute to the efforts made for a comprehensive solution, it will also benefit all partners.
The main objective is of course to reach a comprehensive settlement. This will be our basic field of endeavor. Confidence-building measures will be significant as long as they help the main goal in a parallel process. In this context, the importance of opening new border crossings and making mobile phones become active in both areas are obvious.
The Prime Minister of Turkey Mr. Davutoğlu said in a speech at a joint meeting of the Turkish and Greek business people 5 months ago in Athens, “we may be two separate states and nations, but it is rational to plan our countries as one geography. Both countries benefit from this.” While expressing that I share this vision of the Prime Minister, I would like to emphasize that it is rational to plan the 9,000 square kilometers of this island as two equal constituent states under a federal roof, but a single geography.
Reaching a solution in Cyprus will not only benefit the relationship between both communities, but also it will make significant contribution to Turkish-Greek, Turkish-EU and federal Cyprus-Turkey relationships in the future.
We have the necessary determination and will to reach a positive outcome on Cyprus negotiations that have been protracted since 1968. Hopefully Mr. Anastasiades will demonstrate a similar commitment shown during the 2004 Annan Plan. We are at the same age generation as Mr. Anastasiades. If we cannot solve the Cyprus issue, I am afraid the next generation will have even more difficulties in reaching a solution.
Therefore, I would like to make a call today and say that without attempting mutual accusations and looking for a scapegoat, we will succeed in acting in the direction of rationalism and realism.
Another reality that we cannot ignore while our attempts for the Cyprus problem are ongoing is that life continues and our accumulated internal problems need to be solved. Throughout my duty, I will be sensitive towards the internal issues of our society rather that the internal affairs of the political parties.
I will carry out a leading and guiding position for the governments without any attempt to take over their positions and I will encourage cooperation between institutions. I will take up my duty in the position of President in the issues of clean politics, transparency and a struggle against corruption.”
The demand to establish civilized relations on the basis of mutual respect and interest with Turkey, with whom we have significant historical and cultural bonds, must be perceived as a beneficial development for both sides.
The direct reflection of the Turkish Cypriot people’s will in the administration and having a voice in their own institutions has been delayed. It is of vital importance to maintain these institutions and lead them properly and to avoid negative conditions such as the events that had taken place in Cyprus Turkish Airlines and in the former Nicosia Turkish Municipality.
As I often underlined during my campaign period, we must be capable of holding the mirror up to our faces. We will have a stance of reconciliation in all our relations, both internally and externally.
We will undoubtedly work in efficient consultation and cooperation with the authorities of the Republic of Turkey, especially on the Cyprus issue. In addition to this, a self-supporting and self-governing TRNC would take a healthier position in the future in a federal structure in international law and in EU institutions.
This is also in the interest of Turkey as well as the Turkish Cypriots, and it will contribute to solidify the images of both parties in the international forum.
I promised an independent and impartial Presidency to our people and I have been elected. I will keep my promise. The Presidency will embrace all the people and will be truly independent and impartial. I will have a democratic approach that will be equally close to all the political parties and will embrace all colours.
I will facilitate high level contributions of all values in our people in a closer dialogue with the civil society. Impartiality does not mean to lack principles. Democracy, human rights, gender equality, children’s rights, disabled people’s rights, environmental issues, social law, rule of law, autonomous culture, taking a direct part in arts and similar issues will be the irrevocable principles during my presidential period.
Lastly, I would like to say that I will never forget that I will be a tenant not a proprietor of this historical building that I will go into today soon after the ceremony and of the duty I am taking over today. I will never forget, not even for a second, that the real proprietor is our people. I would like to congratulate all those who make their livings by hard work and effort on the 1st of May International Labor Day, to be celebrated tomorrow.
We will shape our tomorrow together on this land, regardless of religion, language, race, colour and ethnicity. I wholeheartedly believe that we will achieve a more beautiful and brighter future working together. I send my love and respect.