Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu says Turkey wants result-oriented negotiations on Cyprus, adding that they have "no time or energy for years of negotiations."
Turkey wants result-oriented negotiations on Cyprus, not talks that drag on for years, the country's foreign minister said on Friday.
"We need to see the realities. We have no time or energy for years of negotiations," Mevlut Cavusoglu said after receiving an honorary doctorate at Girne American University in Girne, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
"We have seen that it is pointless to be bound by a single option with a patronising approach," he said, stressing that all options must be discussed.
Cavusoglu said that Greek Cypriots apparently were not ready to share anything with the Turks at the 2017 talks in Crans-Montana, Switzerland, which ended in failure.
"Starting new negotiations, without recognising these facts, is nothing but a pipe dream," he said.
Cavusoglu said at those talks no progress was made on the issues of administration, power sharing, political equality, or property, adding that in fact the Greek side took steps "backwards" and continues to do so.
He stated that in the past, Turkey repeatedly considered the Cyprus issue with Russia, which also enjoys a good relationship with the Greek Cypriot administration.
Touching on the war in Syria, which Turkey and Russia have worked on, Cavusoglu said: "If we can also establish a Constitutional Commission in Syria, if we can go to a political process, then other areas of cooperation may also emerge in this region."
Speaking during Cavusoglu’s visit, Mustafa Akinci, president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), said that a solution on Cyprus will be based on negotiations and carried out within the framework of the UN.
"An open-ended and non-result-oriented negotiation process has been tested for 50 years. Now we think that this era has passed," said Akinci.
He added: "No matter what the solution is called, we have underlined that the essence will be political equality."
Greek Cypriot side 'nowhere near solution'
At those talks the Greek side began stipulating harsh conditions in areas such as authorisation sharing and Turkish participation in decision-making, said Cavusoglu.
But Turkish Cypriot officials were at the table for a federal solution with specified parameters, he said.
"The Greek Cypriot side has not come near a solution, and will not in the coming process," Cavusoglu said, underlining that this "reality" was seen by the UN secretary-general, the UK as guarantor state, and the EU as an observer.
Cyprus was divided into a Turkish Cypriot state in the north and a Greek Cypriot administration in the south after a 1974 military coup was followed by violence against the island’s Turks and Turkey’s intervention as a guarantor power.
The status of the island remains unresolved in spite of a series of negotiations over the years.
The initiative in Crans-Montana, Switzerland in July 2017 under the auspices of guarantor countries Turkey, Greece, and the UK ended in failure.
Equal energy resource rights
Speaking to reporters after meeting with Akinci, Cavusoglu said they all agreed that Turkish Cypriots also have rights to the natural gas resources around the island of Cyprus.
"Instead of unilateral drilling or seismic research, a common solution should be found and these resources should be explored and fairly shared," Cavusoglu said.
"If the Greek Cypriots continue unilateral activities [in the Eastern Mediterranean], Turkey will also continue protecting the rights of the Turkish Cypriots."
In early 2018, the Greek Cypriot administration unilaterally launched exploratory drilling activities for natural gas in the Eastern Mediterranean despite strong opposition from Turkish Cypriots, who argue that the island's natural resources should be exploited jointly to ensure equal rights for both parties.