Erdogan’s interview with Greek Cypriot journalists

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke to a group of Cypriot journalists in Istanbul, explaining that Turkey had no hidden agenda as far as Cyprus was concerned. He asked Greek Cypriots to overcome their mistrust of Turkey and accept that whatever decision over Cyprus’ future Cypriots came to, Turkey would accept them.

This interview was the first time since 1974 that Greek Cypriots had a chance to directly ask questions of a Turkish Prime Minister. Referring to the Turkish side’s package of proposals on governance and power, submitted in January, he was critical of the Greek Cypriot side’s suspicions:

“I see on the Greek Cypriot side some question marks or doubts about what is behind this package. Whereas what we have to be doing is thinking not just about one part of the island, not only about the north of the island but the north and south of the island.”

PM Erdogan also repeated that Turkish troops would be withdrawn from the island but not until there was a solution. He criticised the Greek Cypriot side’s insistence that Turkey’s rights as a guarantor should be removed. He accused the Greek Cypriots of “in a manner of speaking acting as if they are the spoilt child of the EU and they feel like they can afford to do that.” This was in reference to their decision to block chapters in Turkey’s EU accession bid, particularly the ‘education’ and ‘energy’ chapters.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Comments are closed.