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Erdogan’s friends shaping Turkish territorial policy in north

The economic interests of people close to Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan are shaping Turkish territorial policies in the north of the island according to Greek Cypriot negotiator Andreas Mavroyiannis.

Speaking to ACTIVE Radio, Mavroyiannis explained that Turkey, ever since the collapse of the Cyprus Conference in the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana on July 7 is attempting to establish new conditions on the ground with regards to the issues of territory and property.

“The issue of the Maronite villages and the fenced off city of Famagusta and the way that they were presented at this time point to this,” said Mavroyiannis.

Mavroyiannis said that Turkey’s manoeuvring stems from certain principles such as that of the property issue which states that where possible, the property is to be returned to the legal owner.

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The negotiator explains that as in the case with the Maronite villages, to which Turkey has invited the Maronites to return, Turkey will after a year withdraw its offer.

“The Turkish side will come to say that whoever did not return will not lose their property rights but they will lose the right to return,” explains Mavroyiannis.

He adds that this will ultimately prevent refugees from returning to their homes and the only way out will be through compensation.

“This is being added to the nomology of the European Court of Human Rights where there is a clear distinction between property and residence.”

“The game in the occupied side has changed, it is no longer a simple case of settlers, nor religious orientation, it is a case of economic interests for circles close Mr Erdogan.”

“Only in Cyprus do we doubt the interpretations regarding the developments on the Cyprus problem,” said Mavroyiannis.

The diplomat revealed that there was absolutely no doubting the government’s interpretation of why talks failed during his contacts with international players in New York, Washington, Brussels and elsewhere.

Mavroyiannis characterises the current phase of the Cyprus problem as an interval.

“We would prefer for the negotiations to continue,” he noted.

Mavroyiannis said that he is however hesitant primarily due to Turkey’s position that the negotiations have fallen outside the parameters of the United Nations since the collapse of Crans-Montana.

“There is no end of the road without a solution,” he added.

But Mavroyiannis does not know when or what will galvanise the restart of talks.

He said that although active negotiations have ceased, the technical committees are still meeting and exchanging ideas.

Mavroyiannis did, however, express his ire at leeks in which communication between himself and the technical committees have found their way to the media.

“We are talking about national issues and I do not consider it correct for such discussions to be aired,” said Mavroyiannis.

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