Turkey on Tuesday dismissed claims that it was ending its guarantor status over northern Cyprus, the Hürriyet Daily News reported.
“News reports in the Greek Cypriot press alleging that Turkey [is ending its guarantor status] for Cyprus are not true,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said in a statement.
Turkey’s guarantor status over the island established by the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee is clear, he added.
“A just and comprehensive settlement on the island will be only possible by ensuring the Turkish Cypriots’ political equality and responding to their security concerns,” he said.
Ankara had intervened as a guarantor power in 1974 following a coup aimed at the annexation of Cyprus by Greece. In 1983 the self-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC) came into existence.
In an interview on Thursday the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı told The Guardian that the differences between the two sides are growing more entrenched and that the Mediterranean island faces permanent partition of its Greek and Turkish communities unless an agreement is swiftly reached involving an “equitable” federal solution.
“We need to hurry up. After all these years we have come to a crossroads, a decisive moment,” Akıncı said, adding that the Turkish north would grow increasingly dependent on Ankara if reunification failed, ending up being swallowed up as a de facto Turkish province.
Akıncı’s comments have led to harsh reactions in the Turkish capital, particularly among officials of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its extreme right-wing ally, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).