Turkey has reacted to comments by the European Union’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell who Sunday criticized a visit by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Turkish-occupied Cyprus during which he called for a “two-state” solution.
In a statement Monday, Turkey’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said Borrell’s views had “once again revealed how disconnected the EU is from the realities on the island and exposed the fact that it ignores the free will” of Turkish Cypriots, as expressed in recent elections in the breakaway state.
“A fair, lasting and sustainable settlement is only possible if it is based on the will of the two peoples who are the co-owners of the island,” Aksoy said, accusing the EU of ignoring the existence and rights of Turkish Cypriots.
“It should not be expected from the EU, which does not refer to the Turkish Cypriot people in any of its statements, [which] awarded the Greek Cypriot administration that rejected the UN settlement plan in 2004 with membership, and [which] did not fulfill any of its promises to the Turkish Cypriots, to contribute to the settlement,” he said.
“UN Security Council resolutions do not prevail over property rights. Likewise, UN Security Council resolutions are not above the will of the people,” Aksoy said, adding that during the last elections, Turkish Cypriots had clearly expressed their will to negotiate a two-state solution.
“Everyone, including the EU, should respect this will,” Aksoy said.
“The bi-communal, bi-zonal federal settlement model has been tried for more than 50 years in Cyprus, and it has not yielded any results because the Greek Cypriot side does not consider the Turkish Cypriot people as an equal partner and does not want to share the power and the wealth,” he said.
“If the EU wishes to contribute to the settlement of the Cyprus issue, first and foremost, it should acknowledge the existence and the will of the Turkish Cypriot people, and fulfill its commitments made in 2004,” he said.