The core of the Cyprus issue and the reason behind its continuation is the treatment by the international community of the Greek Cypriot side as if it werethe “sole state and the representative” of the Island of Cyprus and of the Turkish Cypriot people as if they were a mere “community”. Therefore, the Cyprus question, in essence, is an issue of status.
In order to address the issue of status and pave the way for an acceptable settlement, the Turkish Cypriot side has recently put forward a new and a realistic vision as its new Cyprus policy. This vision and policy is supported by Motherland Turkey.
All matters associated with our foreign policy should be formulated in line with the guiding principles of the new vision adopted by our State regarding the Cyprus issue. Needless to say, this includes Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) registration of hellim and its aftermath. However, developments have proven otherwise.
Even though the PDO registration of hellim is interpreted as a positive step which will enable of exportation of hellim to European Union’s internal market, the stance adopted by the European Union, as all its other policies, contradicts with our new vision. It is amply clear that the European Union treats the Greek Cypriot Ministry of Agriculture as the “competent authority”. It is envisaged that the Turkish Cypriot hellim producers would be inspected through a mechanism determined by the Greek Cypriot side. This stance of the European Union leaves the Turkish Cypriot hellim producers to the mercy of the Greek Cypriot side, which intends to extend its authority over our country. It is worth reminding that following the PDO registration of hellim by the European Union, the Greek Cypriot hellim producers have already begun to benefit from the said registration.
An arrangement that will enable our relevant State authorities’ involvement in determining the compatibility of hellim production with the PDO registration, would be in line with our new vision. The EU’s position remains remote to come to this term.
I would like to remind that we, as the TRNC Ministry of Foreign Affairs, have stressed on every occasion that the European Union is not and will not be an impartial actor. It is necessary to reiterate that, if not cautious, an uncharted process may be experienced that may risk the exclusion of our relevant authorities and even allowing the Greek Cypriot side to act on behalf of our country.