World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkey’s ambassador to the European Union has once again spoken about the Cyprus issue, hushing rumors that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is preparing to give up land to the Greek Cypriot administration. This speech comes as Germany offers its support for renewed talks between Turkey and the European Union.
The Cyprus issue has long been a thorn in Turkey’s side, acting as an obstacle for them in their bid to join the European Union. Turkey used its right as a guarantor of peace after a coup lead by Greek Cypriot extremist Nikos Sampson ousted the constitutional government of Cyprus in 1974. In a bid to separate the two warring communities of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, Turkey positioned its troops in the northern half of the island, where they have been stationed since. While Turkish Cypriots fled to the north, Greek Cypriots in the north fled south.
Deemed as an illegal occupation by the Greek Cypriot government in the south, as well as by the EU, there has been mounting pressure for Turkey to pull out of Cyprus completely. However, Turkey have been refusing to withdraw until a suitable peace plan has been agreed to by the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot administrations. Turkey has constantly accused the Greek Cypriot authorities of pulling out and sabotaging the peace talks.
However, as peace talks set to resume in November once again promise a breakthrough to the forty-year problem, rumors that the unrecognized Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus are preparing to handover the district of Maras (Varosha) to the Greek Cypriots have become widespread.
On the contrary, the Turkish ambassador to the EU, Egemen Bagis has been quoted as saying ‘we will not give up a single inch of land.’
Speaking to the Yeni Safak newspaper, Bagis said: ‘If today we are able to see the light at the end of the tunnel for the Cyprus issue, this is thanks to the diplomatic efforts of the Turkish Cypriot administration.’
Reassuring Turkey’s commitment to the peace process, he said ‘the same way Turkey was never the one to leave the table and abandon the solution in the past; we will also never be the one to do so today or from this point onwards. A Cyprus cut in half will neither be of benefit to the Cypriots nor the EU.’Last Mod: 21 Ekim 2013, 13:54