Friday, February 25, 2011

Leader of illegally occupied northern Cyprus fumes at lecturing by Turkey | | Hürriyet Daily News

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Turkish Cypriots are no different from Turks living in Turkey, says Eroğlu.

Angry criticism in Turkey against the country’s financial support for northern Cyprus has drawn a reaction from Turkish Cypriot leader Derviş Eroğlu, who told journalists Wednesday that the comments made him “very upset.”

“These arguments make me very upset. We founded this country [Turkish Cyprus] together; we are as Turkish as you are, we are no different than you,” Eroğlu told a group of finance journalists in Istanbul.

Addressing the current debate over relations between Turkey and northern Cyprus, he said some wrong comments are being made by the Turkish public regarding the financing of Turkish Cyprus by the Turkish state.

“There are some arguments such as, ‘Money cut out from the pockets of the poor in Turkey is being sent to northern Cyprus for the Cypriots to use.’ These arguments make us feel very upset. Since the income of Turkish Cyprus is limited, motherland Turkey is giving us this support,” Eroğlu said.

Northern Cyprus’ economic development is hampered by EU-imposed sanctions.

Relations between Turkey and northern Cyprus are not based on money, the Turkish Cypriot leader added.

“Turkey has contributed to Turkish Cyprus’ budget about 850 million Turkish Liras this year, which is equivalent to one third of our budget. About 350 million liras out of this budget goes to the security forces, while 175 million liras went to the investment budget,” he said.

“We use this money from time to time whenever we have a deficit in paying the salaries of the state officers. So I really get upset when bad arguments are made regarding the use of this money in Cyprus,” Eroğlu said, reiterating that Turkish Cypriots are no different from Turks living in Turkey.

“Our national holidays are your national holidays, our religion is your religion, our nation is your nation,” he said. “We are the people who were being sent to Cyprus by the Ottoman Empire. We are proud of our Turkishness. Therefore we are not different than you.”

The current row between Ankara and Turkish Cyprus stems from a demonstration held in late January in the northern part of the divided island, where a group of protesters unfurled banners harshly critical of Turkey’s intervention in its affairs.

According to Eroğlu, the demonstrators were influenced by negative elements.

“There might be some people reacting to Turkey or people coming from Turkey within the Turkish Cypriot society, but such things can happen in Turkey as well. There might be resentments even between a mother and her child, between two siblings. And our relation with Turkey is based on brotherhood,” the Turkish Cypriot leader said.

Addressing the ongoing peace talks with Greek Cyprus, Eroğlu said his counterparts on the other side of the island do not have any intention of reaching an agreement. “Their intention is only to play for time,” he said.

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"Leader of northern Cyprus fumes at lecturing by Turkey" February 24, 2011 ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News

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As either unitary state or federation solutions are discussed as replacements to Cyprus' 1960 and Turkey's 1923 unworkable constitutions, should we abide by "if a right is a right too many for Turkey's Kurdish community (circa 23% of population) then that right is a right too many for Cyprus' tCypriot community too (circa 15%), and vice versa." Is the adoption of this fair logic the catalyst to securing just solutions for both UN countries.