EU can’t decide on solution model for Cyprus: Turkish Cypriots
An abandoned Cyprus Airways Trident passenger jet is parked on the tarmac of the long-abandoned Nicosia airport that lies inside a United Nations-controlled buffer zone, that separates the TRNC from the Greek Cypriot administration, April 4, 2021. (AP File Photo)

EU can’t decide on solution model for Cyprus: Turkish Cypriots

The European Union is no longer credible in the eyes of Turkish Cypriots and does not have the prerogative to decide on a solution model for the island, the Foreign Ministry of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) said Tuesday.

Recent remarks by EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, in which he rejected a two-state solution in Cyprus, are “very unfortunate” the ministry said in a statement.

“This unfortunate statement shows how unwilling and prejudiced the EU is to understand the just demands and wishes of the Turkish Cypriots. It is understood that the Union has built its vision on Cyprus, based on wrong assessments. As such, the EU is not in a position to decide what the solution model will be,” the statement said.

Reiterating that the EU made a historical mistake by unilaterally accepting the Greek Cypriot Administration as an EU member without waiting for an agreement on the Cyprus issue, the ministry emphasized that the EU chose its side on the Cyprus issue with this irreversible mistake.

“With the unwavering support of homeland Turkey, the TRNC will maintain its determined stance,” the statement added.

The Turkish Cypriots note that there is no common ground between the TRNC and Greek Cypriots to reach a federal solution, and the U.N. should recognize that.

The island of Cyprus has been mired in a decadeslong struggle between Greek and Turkish Cypriots, despite a series of diplomatic efforts by the U.N. to achieve a comprehensive settlement.

The island has been divided since 1964, when ethnic attacks forced Turkish Cypriots to withdraw into enclaves for their safety. In 1974, a Greek Cypriot coup aiming at Greece’s annexation led to Turkey’s military intervention as a guarantor power. The TRNC was founded in 1983.

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

This article originally appeared in DAILY SABAH on 14 July 2021.