Turkish Cypriot government pessimistic on talks

ANKARA, Turkey

The newly elected Turkish Cypriot government said Friday (May 22nd) that it sees little hope that ongoing talks will lead to the reunification of the divided island. “The Greek Cypriot side is creating problems even on smaller issues. I am not optimistic for a solution, though I want to be,” Turkish Cypriot Foreign Minister Huseyin Ozgurgun told reporters during a visit to Ankara. “As long as the talks are continuing we will not leave the table, but they cannot go on forever,” he added.

Ozgurgun also denounced a recent ruling by the European Court of Justice, which backed the right of Greek Cypriots to reclaim property in northern Cyprus that was abandoned during the 1974 Turkish intervention and later sold to foreigners. He criticised the court’s decision as a “blow” to the peace talks. The government came to power last month, after the right-wing conservative National Unity Party won the April 19th parliamentary elections in the self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

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