‘No talks possible with view that ignores Turkish Cypriots’

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ANKARA

Rejecting the Greek Cypriot stance on the Cyprus issue, Turkey’s ruling party on Monday stated that there would not be any negotiations with an approach that fails to recognize Turkish Cypriots.

No negotiations of any kind are possible with a view that ignores the Turkish Cypriots or the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and ignores their just cause, Omer Celik, spokesman for the Justice and Development (AK) Party, told reporters in the capital Ankara after a meeting of the party’s Central Executive Board.

“If the EU agrees to become a plaything for the Greek Cypriot administration, good luck to them,” Celik said, referring to Greek Cypriot administration leader Nicos Anastasiades’ remarks that he would complain about Turkey and the TRNC to European leaders.

Celik added that the TRNC should be recognized as a state that has equal international vision and status.

Cyprus has been mired in a decades-long dispute between Greek and Turkish Cypriots, despite a series of diplomatic efforts by the UN to achieve a comprehensive settlement.

The island of Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when a Greek Cypriot coup was followed by violence against the island’s Turks and Turkey’s intervention as a guarantor power.

It has seen an on-and-off peace process in recent years, including a failed 2017 initiative in Switzerland under the auspices of guarantor countries Turkey, Greece, and the UK.

The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was founded in 1983.

The Greek Cypriot administration, backed by Greece, became a member of the European Union in 2004, although most Greek Cypriots rejected a UN settlement plan in a referendum that year, which had envisaged a reunited Cyprus joining the EU.

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