Turkey’s leadership is more than ready for a solution

Letter from Ankara

A NEW momentum seems to be developing. In the past four weeks, Turkey has sent a series of signals that it wants a settlement in Cyprus; that the negotiators haven’t got “all day”, they must move.

Cypriots have seen so many initiatives to resolve their division that they’ve grown sceptical. “We’ve been here before,” is the standard response. But the latest signals are interesting.

April 21: Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan tells reporters he wants to see a solution in Cyprus “by the end of 2009”.

May 5: President Demetris Christofias and his Turkish Cypriot counterpart Mehmet Ali Talat decide that their aides, George Iacovou and Ozdil Nami, will meet more often in a bid to expedite the problem-solving.

May 6: Turkey’s new foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, flies to north Cyprus for talks with Talat only 24 hours after being sworn in.

“All sides should be especially careful to avoid negatively affecting the talks,” Davutoglu told reporters in north Nicosia.

“Our final aim is to bring peace to Cyprus and make it a centre of peace and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean.”

In an editorial, this paper commended Davutoglu for avoiding the political phrases that annoy Greek Cypriots, and described his comments as “the most moderate and reasonable ever made by a Turkish foreign minister.” 

 
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