Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu warns that Turkish Cypriots will not shrug off yet another failure in the Cyprus talks nor will they accept anything less than political equality.
Cavusoglu, who visited north Nicosia on Monday evening, held a meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci.
Both men expressed their sympathy towards the victims of Monday’s Greek wildfire, with at least 74 confirmed dead by Tuesday’s afternoon count. Cavusoglu said his government stood ready to assist Athens.
On the Cyprus issue, the Turkish minister said there had been a lot of intense negotiations for a federal solution, warning that if talks begin hastily without preparation, then it could end up being the last effort.
“If we rush into the negotiations and fail again, then we may not have another shot at it again. We cannot endure another failure and we will make this point one of our priorities,” Cavusoglu said.
The minister reiterated that topics and guidelines should be set ahead of the start of any talks.
Cavusoglu also took to social media to say that Turkish Cypriots would not accept anything less than political equality in Cyprus.
“Greek Cypriots must stop acting like the sole owners of Cyprus. The fact that both sides on the island are politically equal will never change,” Cavusoglu wrote on Twitter.
Finally, the Turkish foreign minister warned that if the Republic of Cyprus starts drilling unilaterally, the Turkish side would follow suit.
“We stopped ENI. In the last three years we have been telling the Italians and ENI ‘don’t come in here’ as we will not allow it if the rights of the Turkish Cypriots are not guaranteed,” Cavusoglu told Turkish daily Aksam.
Of course, blocking all the time is not right, he said.
“If the Greek Cypriot side starts drilling in the fall, we will do the same,” Cavusoglu said. [Kathimerini Cyprus]