A Turkish Cypriot top official has accused the Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Cyprus of unfairly targeting the shipping industry and universities in the north at a time when there are calls for better relations between the two communities.
Kudret Ozersay, who oversees foreign matters in the north, issued a written statement on Tuesday saying that the government in the south was behaving in a way that could damage relations between the two communities on the island, according to Turkish Cypriot media.
“It is becoming apparent that unfortunately the Greek Cypriot leadership cannot stand the idea of letting Turkish Cypriots catch a breath, not only in politics, culture, and sports, but also in the economy sector,” Ozersay wrote.
Ozersay, a former professor and chief negotiator, said he saw a contradiction in the Greek Cypriot side towards Turkish Cypriots, on one hand by blocking economic activity and on the other hand by calling for improved relations between the two sides.
'We are faced with a mentality trying to keep us out of the global economy but then also calling for better relations between the two communities'
“We are faced with a mentality through which letters are being sent everywhere trying to keep us out of the global economy but then also calling for better relations between the two communities,” Ozersay wrote.
“I’m sorry, but this is blatant hypocrisy,” Ozersay said.
According to CNA News Agency, Ozersay said that higher education and tourism were vital industries in the north but Greek Cypriots were targeting both.
He also said that while graduates from Eastern Mediterranean University in the north are being accepted everywhere in the world and their diplomas are being recognised without difficulty, in the south foreign ministry officials of the Republic are putting hurdles and trying to block the cooperation between EMU and Oxford University.
“This has no legal standing,” Ozersay said.
He described actions by foreign ministry officials in the Republic as “outdated methods” in an era when people in the south spend money when they cross over to the north, he said.
Ozersay also made references to past arrests of boat captains by Greek Cypriot authorities, saying officials in the Republic of Cyprus would detain captains who crossed into the south for a visit on the basis that they had used unrecognised ports in the north.
“But now they are also going after the countries who register these ships. What kind of mentality is this? When the Turkish Cypriot is calling for a change in the mentality, this is what it is talking about,” Ozersay said.