International Information Centre for Balkan Studies

Turkey condemns Greek Cyprus presence at NATO event

Turkey condemns Greek Cyprus presence at NATO event
Turkey condemned the participation of a Greek Cypriot representative to NATO's change of command ceremony on May 3, 2019.

The invitation to the Greek Cyprus administration, which is not a NATO member, to the change of command ceremony is inexplicable, said Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy.

"We condemn the unilateral behavior of SHAPE headquarters. We recall that these headquarters are under the political control of NATO members including Turkey," Aksoy said.

Turkey boycotted NATO's change of command ceremony on May 3 to protest against the participation of a Greek Cypriot representative.

Gen. Curtis M. Scaparrotti handed over the charge of the Supreme Allied Commander of Europe to Tod D. Wolters at the ceremony held in Mons, Belgium.

On May 2, Turkey informed NATO it will not attend the ceremony if the invitation to Greek Cyprus administration is not withdrawn.

Ankara cannot accept a solution on Cyprus issue that ignores Turkish Cypriots and their will, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on May 4, 2019.

“It is not possible for us to accept a solution which ignores the Turkish Cypriots, ignores political equality and ignores the Turkish Cypriots' will,” Çavuşoğlu told the Global Journalism Council Media Meeting in the coastal town of Girne, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).

Çavuşoğlu said that a lasting solution could not be reached on the Cyprus issue despite many years of negotiations and added that Turkey will continue its "constructive attitude" to protect the rights of the Turkish Cypriots and the TRNC.

“We will do it together,” he said.

Çavuşoğlu noted that Turkish Cypriots have also been doing its part for a lasting solution based on political equality for around 60 years.

“The Republic of Turkey and TRNC and Turkish Cypriots have always been in favor of a solution,” he said, adding that the reason for having no solution on the issue was that Greek Cypriots administration did not want to share anything on the island with Turkish Cypriots.

In 1974, following a coup aiming at Cyprus' annexation by Greece, Ankara had to intervene as a guarantor power. In 1983, the TRNC was founded.

The decades since have seen several attempts to resolve the dispute, all ending in failure. The latest one, held with the participation of the guarantor countries- Turkey, Greece, and the U.K.- ended in 2017 in Switzerland.

In 2004, in twin referendums, the plan of then-U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan was accepted by Turkish Cypriots but rejected by the Greek Cypriots.

Talks have focused on a federal model, based on the political equality of the Turkish and Greek Cypriot sides, but Greek Cypriots' rejection of such a solution, including the Annan plan, led to the emergence of other models.

In a recent report, current U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also said that "new ideas" may be needed for a settlement on the island.

Turkey blames Greek Cypriot intransigence for the talks' failure, also faulting the European Union for admitting Cyprus as a divided island into the union in 2004 after Greek Cypriot voters rejected a peace deal.


Source: Anadolu Agency

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