Foreign Minister Tahsin Ertuğruloğlu has stated that the Turkish Cypriot people rely on Turkey’s guarantee and added that this sensitivity should be taken into consideration during the negotiations.
Ertuğruloğlu was speaking to a TAK reporter about security and guarantees ahead of the five-party Cyprus conference which will take place in Geneva on 28 June under the auspices of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, with the participation of President Mustafa Akıncı and Greek Cypriot leader Nikos Anastasiades, as well as the guarantor countries Turkey, Greece and the UK, and in the presence of the EU as an observer.
Foreign Minister Ertuğruloğlu stated that incidents in the past and the insecure environment both on the island of Cyprus and in the region have made the continuation of Turkey’s active role as a security guarantor on the island necessary. Expressing that their desire is that the ongoing negotiation process between the two sides reaches a settlement, he stressed, however, that the security and guarantee issue continues to be very important for the Turkish Cypriot people.
“The Turkish Cypriot people can only rely on the Turkey’s guarantee. The sensitivity of our people in this regard needs to be acknowledged. The current guarantee system in Cyprus can be updated, but the continuation of the Turkish Armed Forces’ presence on the island and the preservation of Turkey’s unilateral right of intervention are undisputable even after a settlement is reached” said Ertuğruloğlu.
Stating that he did not agree with the statement that “providing one side’s security needs should not create a security concern for the other”, Foreign Minister Ertuğruloğlu said that Turkey only used its unilateral right of intervention as a response to the Greek Cypriots who tried to change the constitutional order and seized the rights of the Turkish Cypriots. He added that peace was established on the island after that intervention.
Pointing out the importance of handling security needs in the right way, Foreign Minister Ertuğruloğlu said, “There is no need to worry if there is no malicious intention.”
“In order for the guarantee system to be effective, it is necessary for Turkey to keep the unilateral right of intervention as well as the right to have troops on the island. Turkish Cypriots will not accept an agreement which does not allow the presence of the Turkish military on the island and which does not allow Turkey to intervene unilaterally.” Stating that an attitude to make concession on this issue would only serve the demands of the Greek Cypriot side at the negotiating table, Ertuğruloğlu said that the main aim of the Greek Cypriot side at the Cyprus conference would be to end the guarantee of Turkey and to remove Turkish troops from the island, adding that this intention has been shown by the Greek Cypriots at every opportunity.
Source: TRNC Public Information Office –
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