World, Europe

Turkish Cypriot FM says federation on island impossible

UN effort to unite Cyprus under federal umbrella is 'dream', Tahsin Ertugruloglu says

06.10.2017
Turkish Cypriot FM says federation on island impossible Turkish Cypriot Foreign Affairs Minister Tahsin Ertugruloglu

By Murat Demirci

LEFKOSA, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus

A federation in Cyprus is impossible, the Turkish Cypriot foreign minister said on Friday.

In a news conference held in Lefkosa, Tahsin Ertugruloglu said building a federation in Cyprus was just a “dream”.

“Building a federation [in Cyprus] is not possible,” he added.

The 2004 federation plan, named after then-UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, was accepted by Turkish Cypriots in a referendum but rejected by Greek Cypriots.

“Insisting on a federation in Cyprus is an insult to the Turkish Cypriot people,” Ertugruloglu said, adding they were fed up with “uncertainty”.

He believes that even hundred years of negotiations over a two-state federation in Cyprus will yield no results.

Cyprus was divided into a Turkish Cypriot state in the north and a Greek Cypriot administration in the south after 1974 military coup was followed by violence against the island’s Turkish people, and Turkey’s intervention as a guarantor power.

Negotiations over Cyprus resumed after a 2004 UN-backed Annan Plan to reunify the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot communities.

The reunification talks -- brokered by UN Special Cyprus Envoy Espen Barth Eide -- were launched in May 2015 to discuss a permanent settlement for the divided Mediterranean island.

The status of the island remains unresolved in spite of a series of discussions that resumed in May 2015.

There has been an on-and-off peace process over recent years, the latest failed initiative having taken place in Crans-Montana, Switzerland in July under the auspices of guarantor countries Turkey, Greece and the U.K., collapsing earlier this year.

Reporting by Murat Demirci; Writing by Cansu Dikme 

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