The Turkish Cypriot community is no longer willing to sit at the table “just to negotiate,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Tuesday, indicating a tougher stance towards UN-brokered talks aimed at reunifying the divided island.
“They sent this message clearly in the last election,” the state-run Anadolu Agency reported him as telling the 12th Ambassadors Conference in Ankara, referring to last month’s election of hardliner Ersin Tatar as head of the Turkish Cypriot community.
Referring to ongoing tension with Athens and Nicosia, Cavusoglu also said that “no one should expect Turkey to give up resources it has a right to” in the Eastern Mediterranean, while adding that any initiative seeking to “exclude” Turkey from tapping natural gas and oil reserves has “no chance of success.”
The Cyprus peace process recently entered even rockier terrain, firstly through the Turkey-backed reopening of the coastal front of Varosha on October 8, and then through Tatar’s assumption of Turkish Cypriot leadership, as Tatar has repeatedly called for a two-state solution to the Cyprus Problem, risking the derailing of decades-long efforts towards reaching a federal solution.
On Tuesday, the UN mission in Cyprus said it was stepping up efforts to monitor developments in Varosha.
A UN source told the Cyprus News Agency that that internally, personnel from the mission’s police and military components are being coordinated accordingly, to step up efforts to monitor the situation in Varosha.
“We are busy monitoring, observing and reporting everything that is happening there, within the capabilities that we have” the same source added, noting that the UN mission is reporting developments on Varosha to the New York headquarters.