An alternative to the two-state model is not going to offer a solution to Cyprus, said Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, arguing that “we should focus on new and realistic alternatives instead of repeatedly discussing models that have failed in Cyprus.” The Turkish President accused Greece of causing tension and called on it to end actions that contribute to the escalation of tensions in the region. “Allah willing, I am convinced that the resumption of talks with our neighbor Greece on January 25 will herald a new era in our relations,” the Turkish president said.
Speaking to EU ambassadors, the Turkish president said some countries had tried to resolve their bilateral differences with Turkey, seeking a solution in the EU corridors, adding that the EU agenda had been abused by those behind it. under the pretext of Union solidarity. “This approach not only holds our deep-rooted relations hostage, but also undermines the Union's claim to becoming a regional and global power,” he said.
“The most obvious proof of this approach, which we call strategic blindness, is the disagreements over the eastern Mediterranean and Cyprus. Turkey has faced great injustices in both cases. “But Turkey has the largest coastline in the Mediterranean.” “Energy projects that we have started so far have made a significant contribution to the security of Europe's energy supply. We do not claim anything in the eastern Mediterranean that is not rightfully ours. As for the hydrocarbon reserves in the region, we try to protect the legitimate interests of our nation and country. “We oppose these attempts to limit ourselves to our own coastline on the basis of maximalist maps that have absolutely no validity,” the Turkish president said.
“Peace in the Mediterranean will not be possible with any equation that does not include Turkey and the TRNC,” he said. “I would like to reaffirm that Turkey stands for peace, fair cooperation and justice in the face of tensions in the Mediterranean. The Mediterranean is and should be a sea that, instead of dividing us, should bring us all closer and strengthen our cooperation. The Mediterranean is the common roof and home that unites a large family of countries and peoples, from Algeria to Egypt, from Libya to Tunisia, from Palestine to Israel, from Turkey to Greece, from Italy to Spain. “We must transform the eastern Mediterranean from a field of rivalry into a basin of cooperation that will serve our long-term interests,” he said.
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Erdogan went on to say that “we believe that the Eastern Mediterranean Conference we have proposed will serve this purpose. We also believe that setting up an energy co-operation forum that brings together all parties, including the T / Cs, would be beneficial. Greece¨, he claimed, “has reached such a point that it causes tensions, using only 10% of an international area committed through NAVTEX, an international instrument intended for a clear purpose”.
The Turkish President went on to call on Greece, “which has intensified its illegal activities in recent years, through airspace violations and in relation to demilitarized islands, to end actions that contribute to the escalation of tensions in the region”, for to add that, “Allah permitting, I am convinced that the resumption of talks with our neighbor Greece on January 25 will herald a new era in our relations.”
The EU, he said, must make a serious introspection on these issues and on the Cyprus issue. “After rewarding the Greek side with full membership for voting against a solution, the EU has forgotten the commitments it made to the Turkish Cypriots, who voted in favor of the proposal. We expect them to keep these promises as well. Recently, no high-level talks have taken place between the EU and the C / C side. “Given this, how can we expect the EU to play a facilitating role in resolving the Cyprus problem?”
Lessons from half a century of negotiations, the Turkish President further argued, “show that an alternative outside the two-state model is not going to offer a solution to Cyprus. “We need to focus on new and realistic alternatives instead of repeatedly discussing models that have failed in Cyprus.”
Tayyip Erdogan said that “it is not possible to understand European history without Turkey”. “As a nation, we are imagining our future together with Europe. With this understanding, we have been fighting for full membership in the Union for almost 60 years. “Despite the double standards and injustices we faced in this process, we have never abandoned full integration, which is our ultimate goal,” he said.
“It is up to us to turn 2021 into a success in EU-Turkey relations,” he added. “I believe that we can achieve this if we act with a long-term perspective and not with prejudices or fears. We will host Michelle and Legen in Turkey later this month. “We will discuss these issues extensively with them,” he said.
Erdogan: We believe that talks with Greece can usher in a new era