Akinci: Political equality and effective participation are demands of the Turkish Cypriots

Akinci: Political equality and effective participation are demands of the Turkish Cypriots

What he said before leaving for New York

By Michalis Michael

Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinji called on President Anastasiades to understand that the call for effective participation is a demand of the Turkish Cypriots, and not Turkey’s, and to stop transmitting this message to the international community, arguing that the President of the Republic is still unclear on issues of political equality and effective participation, which are – as he said – parameters of the UN.

Speaking to reporters at the illegally occupied Tymbou airport, before departing for New York, the Turkish leader said he insisted on the three points he set in principle to conclude the terms of reference: The joint communiqué on February 11, 2014, the convergences up to the Crans Montana and the Guterres framework. After two years of President Anastasiades trying to alter this framework, he argued, it has now been documented in UN decisions that this is the Guterres framework of June 30, 2017.

The Turkish leader said that leaving for New York he wants to send a message to the Turkish community that he is going there with a good intention and a constructive spirit to do his best, supporting the Turkish Cypriots’ rights and the agreements that have occurred from the work done so far by the UN. “We will meet with the UN Secretary-General in this spirit”.

I want our “people” to know, he continued, that what the G/C side says, as if everything had been agreed on August 9 (at the informal leaders’ meeting), then Mrs Lute came and everything was over and then something happened and Akindzi backed off, “is not true. On 9 August we agreed to continue working with Mrs Lute. We sent the message that if the SG invites us to a tripartite we will accept it. And we have expressed our determination to continue working”.

The meeting on August 9

But, Mr. Akinji continued, at the August 9 meeting, “unfortunately, Mr. Anastasiades continued to disagree precisely and clearly with the prospect of political equality and effective participation. He continued not to clarify the date of the June 30 Guterres Framework. That is why it was not possible to reach a comprehensive agreement then (on 9 August)”. According to the Turkish leader, President Anastasiadrs was not clear on the issue of political equality and effective participation, neither on Jane Hall Lut’s contacts in Cyprus. “It is this behavior of Mr Anastasiades that has not made it possible for us to reach the point of agreement and to record one by one the terms of reference in a clear way”.

The terms of reference and the Gutter box

He again referred to the speech of the President of the Republic in London, “which hurt us because unfortunately it does not tell the truth”. From day one, he added, he declares and insists on it, and will continue to insist in New York, that the key elements to agreeing on the terms of reference are the joint communiqué of February 11, 2014, all the convergences made up to Crans Montana and the Guterres framework.

“The Guterres framework is one, it doesn’t have much. It’s the one of June 30. Mr Anastasiades tried to tarnish it; it is that of July 4 he said, then there were the minutes of July 6, that is the one he said, but it has now been recorded in a UN Security Council decision. The Guterres framework is that of June 30. That’s why we want the situation clarified. I would like to emphasize once again that political equality and effective participation are of the utmost importance for us”.

So he said that going to New York and would like to make a call to President Anastasiades. This issue (of political equality and effective participation) is of no importance to Turkish Cypriots. It is not Turkey that wants it, as President Anastasiades puts it, Mr. Akinji said, that is, that Turkey has imposed it and that is why the Turkish leader did not take action. “Unfortunately, this is also reflected in his own public opinion and the international community. Let him abandon this and let him understand, and let him Accept that the “people” are seeking a federal cooperative; the T/C side does not want to be a minority party. If we are going to make a cooperative, then the key element of this is to make decisions together on what falls within the competence of that cooperative”.

If the Turkish Cypriots, he said, have no say in the energy, fiscal and federal budgets, then this is not a federation, it is a single state. He called on President Anastasiades to abandon this majority-minority logic and focus on that of the cooperative. “Only in this way can the terms of reference be completed”.

He insists on political equality

Mustafa Akinji also said that he was going to New York with the mandate he has received from the “people” and based on that mandate he would do everything possible to reach the goal of a solution. The solution, he said, is what the UN parameters, as defined years ago, are a bi-zonal, bi-communal federal structure, viable, with political equality and security. If we fail to do so, the division of the island will be permanent, the Turkish leader said, adding that statements about two recognized states may sound good to the ears, but it is not something that can be done in the foreseeable future. He added that he is trying for a solution based on the two constituent states, the Turkish Cypriots to live in political equality, freedom and security with their own identity and dignity under international law, to have a modern, European quality life.

Revealing that the two leaders will have separate meetings with the UN Secretary-General in New York, Mr Akinji said “we will see what the SG’s proposal will be”. A trilateral meeting may be held, he added, but it will not be done immediately, at a date not too far away. “We expect the UN Secretary-General to play a more active role in this process”./ibna