Turks must decide between Turkey and state with Greek Cypriots - Cypriot FM

Cypriot Foreign Minister Nikos Hristodulidis, in an interview he gave to Cypriot paper Alithia on Sunday, said that Turks on the island must choose between an unknown future with Turkey and a future alongside Greek Cypriots in an EU-member state, independent news site t24 reported.

Cyprus remains split between the Greek Republic of Cyprus and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, after Turkey invaded the island in 1974. Tensions have been mounting recently between Turkey and its Greek and Greek Cypriot neighbours over territorial disputes in the Aegean and eastern Mediterranean. 

Hristodulidis underlined that there would be developments regarding Cyprus following Turkey’s presidential and parliamentary elections set to take place on June 24, which will usher in an executive presidential system that grants the president extended powers.

While speaking to the choice facing the Turks of Northern Cyprus, the Greek minister said:

‘’There is very clear dilemma before them. Do they want a future in a unified country with Greek Cypriots that is an EU-member state, or do they wish for an unknown future with Turkey? I have a strong belief that Turkish Cypriots will chose the former.’’

Ankara does not diplomatically recognise the Republic of Cyprus, and has been blocking gas exploration by the republic and its partners in the rich gas fields surrounding the island on the basis that this violates the rights of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus to the island’s resources.