Statements by Kucuk on the Cyprus problem, the “TRNC” economy and tourism. Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes (01.06.11) reported on statements by self-styled prime minister Irsen Kucuk regarding the “TRNC” economy and tourism and the Cyprus problem.

Speaking at a conference in Istanbul organized by the Academic Council of the Marmara Group Foundation entitled: “The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and Tourism”, Kucuk expressed his satisfaction for participating at the event saying that this kind of events are important for the Cyprus cause and for explaining the situation in the “country”.

In his statements, Kucuk referred especially to the importance of the fact that the public opinion of Motherland Turkey is very well informed about the developments in the “TRNC”. He also said that the Cyprus problem is a national and common problem of Turkey and the “TRNC” and underlined the strategic importance of Cyprus.

Referring to the economic difficulties experienced in the “TRNC” due to the “embargoes”, Kucuk said that the fact that their “territories, state and sovereignty” are unquestionable will block this uncertainty they feel.

Kucuk further stressed the need for infrastructure projects to be implemented and stressed that they will take economic measures for a sustainable budget and that they will encourage the investments in the private sector.

As regards the tourism of the occupation regime, Kucuk pointed out that they are implementing the biggest cooperation with Turkey in the field of tourism and said that they have set as a goal that the tourism of the “TRNC” in a period of five years to be 1 million hundred thousand tourists per year and for 2013 to reach 2 million tourists.

Referring to the solution to be found in Cyprus, he reiterated that the solution will be based on the UN parameters and that it will be a new partnership state which will be based on the equal status of the two founding “states” and the political equality of the two “people”.

About the ongoing negotiation process, Kucuk reminded of the fact that the UN found the proposals submitted by the Turkish Cypriot side about the property issue constructive and realistic. Stressing that the Turkish Cypriot side wishes for a solution to be found to the Cyprus problem as soon as possible, he stated that it is necessary for the ongoing talks to be related to a time limit.

Referring to the stance of the Greek Cypriot side at the talks, Kucuk alleged that the Greek Cypriot side is reluctant to a solution, something which is proved by the proposals it submits, as he said. Saying that the Greek Cypriot side’s accession to the EU has eliminated its motivation for a solution, he accused also the Greek Cypriot side for not been ready to accept any kind of power sharing with the Turkish Cypriot side.

As regards the fact that the Greek Cypriot side is against the enhancement of the role of the UN to the process and for a timetable to be set at the talks, self-styled prime minister claimed that the Greek Cypriot side is trying to put pressure towards the issues of the opening of the ports of Turkey to the Greek Cypriot vessels, the termination of the Turkish guarantees and the withdrawal of the Turkish army from the island, by using Turkey’s EU membership.

Alleging that the Greek Cypriot side is trying to make propaganda by using the elections in Turkey, Kucuk underlined that the elections in Turkey are not related to the negotiation process in Cyprus. He further said that Turkey, independently from the results to come up from the elections, will continue expressing its strong support to the efforts exerted towards finding a fair and a lasting solution to the Cyprus problem.

Kucuk underlined then that the Greek Cypriot side is planning to extend the negotiation process until the second half of 2012 when it will take over the EU term presidency so as not to make any more concessions.

Kucuk then called on the EU if it wishes for a solution to be found in the island to keep its promises towards the Turkish Cypriots and to implement the direct trade regulation, saying that the implementation of it will encourage not only the Greek Cypriots for a solution but also will help to the recovery of the “TRNC” economy.

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