March 28, 2023

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu replied the questions of Criterion Magazine SETA General Coordinator Burhanettin Duran.

 Evaluating the new period relations with Greece, Çavuşoğlu also made statements regarding the Cyprus issue.

He noted that for years the negotiations in Cyprus had been carried out on the basis of a federation, but these negotiations collapsed due to the Greek Cypriot side not accepting the Turkish Cypriot side’s political equality.

Noting that the concept of a two-state solution had emerged due to the Greek Cypriot side’s stance, Çavuşoğlu said, “The proposal is based on both the registration of the vested rights of the Turkish Cypriots, namely their sovereign equality and equal international status and the establishment of a cooperation between the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and the Greek Cypriot Administration. We are making every attempt to confirm the sovereign equality and equal international status of the Turkish Cypriot side”.

Explaining that they had given the clear message to all interlocutors that they should focus on the realities on the island, Çavuşoğlu said, “We informed them that they should abandon the double standards imposed against the Turkish Cypriots. We believe that our proposal for a two-state solution, which is compatible with the realities on the island, should be more carefully considered by our interlocutors within the framework of changing conditions on the island.”

Emphasizing the need for comprehensive cooperation in the Eastern Mediterranean, Çavuşoğlu underlined that initiatives that exclude Turkey and the TRNC are doomed to fail.

Noting that the unilateral steps taken only serve to increase tension in the region Çavuşoğlu stated that Turkey will continue to protect the rights and interests of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

“As the country with the longest coastline in the Eastern Mediterranean, we are a key actor in the region. Our priority, as always, is diplomacy, cooperation and coordination. Our President had proposed to the European Union in 2020 to hold a comprehensive Eastern Mediterranean Conference. This proposal should be adopted by other actors and be implemented” said Çavuşoğlu.

He also noted that the Turkish Cypriots had called on the Greek Cypriot side to cooperate on the hydrocarbon issue in 2011, 2012 and 2019 and this proposal was also supported by Turkey.

Source: TRNC Public Information Office

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