LEFKOSA, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus

The Greek side should stop treating the Turkish side as a minority if it wants a peaceful solution on the island of Cyprus, said a senior Turkish Cypriot diplomat on Wednesday.

Tahsin Ertugruloglu, the Turkish Cypriot foreign minister, told Anadolu Agency that the Turkish Cypriots are not a minority on the island but an equal partner.

Recalling the principles on which the Republic of Cyprus was found in 1960, he said one of the partners cannot claim the island by excluding the other partner.

Ertugruloglu stated that the legitimacy of the state was dependent on the condition of the continuation of the partnership.

He added the UN continued to seat the Greek side that broke this partnership as a legal heir and accepted it as the only representative of this partnership.

He went on to say that negotiations on Cyprus would not reach a solution after the Greek side had been seated as a member state in the UN General Assembly.

The diplomat stated that the process and international policy that punishes the Turkish Cypriots and rewards the Greek Cypriot side should come to an end.

He said that if a negotiation process is to be brought to the agenda on the basis of sovereign equality, they would be happy to join. But, he added, they would not accept a policy that urges to start from where they left off in Crans Montana and realize a federation.

He went on to say that negotiations would come to an end if the Greek side urges to continue from where it was left off in Crans Montana and the pampering of the EU and UN continues as if noting has changed.

He said blaming the Greek Cypriots is not a solution, although the UN and EU, who favored them unconditionaly, played a role in exacerbating the situation.

“As long as the inequality in the treatment against us continues, the Greek Cypriots should never be expected to come to a reconciliation,” he said.

The island of Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when a Greek Cypriot coup was followed by violence against the island’s Turks and Ankara’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.

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