By Cetin Ramadan – Association of Turkish Cypriots Abroad (ATCA)
The Association of Turkish Cypriots Abroad (ATCA) welcomes the joint statement by the leaders of the two peoples of Cyprus and supports the ongoing negotiations for a comprehensive settlement. However, we are disappointed the statement read by Mr. Downer has not addressed any of the vital issues and concerns of the Turkish Cypriot people. The statement gives no information about what ‘important progress’ has been made and does not indicate when a comprehensive settlement may be achieved. We were expecting more details on the points actually agreed by the two leaders so that the Turkish Cypriot people can start thinking how these may affect their everyday lives once a solution is in place.
The statement contains empty gestures with no substance and we hope it is not merely a publicity stunt aimed at bluffing, misleading and manipulating the Turkish Cypriot electorate. In April 2004, the Turkish Cypriots people were victims of an April fools joke; firstly by the Greek Cypriot NO vote, then by the EU with their promises to lift the isolations on the Turkish Cypriots people. In April 2010, we feel that this statement is following in a similar vein. In reality, there has not been any tangible progress to inform both peoples. Instead, the statement has led to the interference and meddling with the democratic process. This perceived ill purpose will ultimately undermine the integrity and justice for all counterparts involved. The Turkish Cypriot people want to see actual progress and ultimately a mutually acceptable solution. The present negotiations have not produced anything for the Turkish Cypriots and we see nothing positive in the statement except pure spin and hype.
ATCA believes that this statement is purely intended to directly interfere with the forthcoming Presidential elections in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and to give President Talat an unfair advantage. It is simply untrue and unacceptable to say that no other negotiator, even one democratically elected by the Turkish Cypriot people, can be accepted by the Greek Cypriots and the EU.