President Mustafa Akıncı said that although “the equal treatment of Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot citizens” and “active participation in decisions in the federal government” issues could be reasonably solved, these issues are still unsolved due to the Greek Cypriot side’s stance. “If it continues like this, it will be difficult to reach a solution” said Akıncı.
President Akıncı made a statement at the Presidency following the meeting held with Greek Cypriot leader Nikos Anastasiades.
In his statement, Akıncı evaluated the Navtex, or notice to mariners, issued by Turkey and the Greek Cypriot side’s decision to prevent Serbian children who arrived on the island through South Cyprus to attend the International Children’s Festival Celebrations in the TRNC.
President Akıncı stated that Greek Cypriot leader Anastasiades mentioned the Navtex at the beginning of the meeting and also expressed his concerns.
Explaining why a Navtex was issued, Akıncı said, “This is due to the fact that the Greek Cypriot side is insisting on unilaterally exploring for hydrocarbon, but the Turkish Cypriots also have the right to hydrocarbon exploration in Cyprus.”
President Akıncı said that the Navtex was issued in response to unilateral steps taken by the Greek Cypriot side for the hydrocarbon exploration off the coasts of the island.
Earlier this week, Turkey issued a Navtex and announced that it is sending its research and seismographic research vessel Barbaros to Cyprus, accompanied by a support vessel Bravo to carry out research in the area of Gazimağusa from 21 April until 30 June 2017.
President Akıncı has criticised the Greek Cypriot side’s decision to turn away Serbian children who arrived on the island via South Cyprus to attend the International Children’s Festival Celebrations in the TRNC.
The President said, “I want to underline this last behaviour, which has really hurt our confidence in the Greek Cypriot side. Children came to the TRNC from different parts of the world for the celebration of International Children’s Day on 23rd April. There were some children from Serbia, Russia and Lithuania among them. They were turned away from Larnaca Airport for reasons I do not understand right now. It seems that the Lithuanians had no problem with their transition to the TRNC because of their EU membership. However, it is known that Serbian and Russian children could not pass. The fact that children were prevented from attending such a day is very significant in terms of hurting the relationship of trust between our countries. It is also unfair to the children”.
Discussing the leaders’ meeting yesterday, the president said that they concentrated on two main issues at the meeting, Akıncı said that these issues were “the equal treatment of Turkish and Greek citizens” and “active participation in decisions in the federal government.”
“We have three meetings left, on 2nd, 11th and 17th of May. If we continue in this framework, unfortunately it will be difficult to reach a conclusion. I do not want to be a pessimistic and I do not want to emphasize negativity, but everybody knows that reaching a conclusion would be even more difficult after July” said President Akıncı.