Davutoglu urges international commuıty to end Turkish Cyprus' ısolatıon



Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu held talks in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) yesterday. Speaking to reporters before meeting with his Turkish Cypriot counterpart Huseyin Ozgurgun in Lefkosa, Davutoglu said Turkey has always stood by the Turkish Cypriots and will continue to do so. Davutoglu said that he would have comprehensive talks in the TRNC before the second round of the peace talks on the island begins later this month. Calling Turkey's firm support for the Turkish Cypriots an unchangeable pillar of Turkey's foreign policy, Davutoglu said that Turkey supports the ongoing negotiations on the divided island, and added that he would discuss the latest developments in the peace talks with Turkish Cypriot officials. In Lefkosa, Davutoglu was also received by President Mehmet Ali Talat, and met with Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu and the commander of Turkish Peace Forces on the island, Gen. Hilmi Akin Zorlu. Speaking at a joint press conference after his meeting with Talat, Davutoglu called on the Greek Cypriots not to reject peace anymore, adding that Turkey would not allow the continuation of the status quo on the island. Davutoglu also criticized the economic embargo on the Turkish Cypriots. "Forcing the Turkish Cypriots to live under economic isolation is itself a crime against humanity, and we will not let this crime go on," he told a televised interview. The TRNC's Talat and Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias have been holding peace talks since September 2008 on a renewed effort to reunite the island. In 2004 a UN-sponsored peace plan was accepted by the Turkish Cypriots, but rejected by the Greek side on twin referendums. "No one should expect that the Cyprus talks can last forever," Davutoglu added. "We are committed on this issue. We think that a settlement must be reached with an eye to protect the interests of Turkish Cypriots and Turkey as well as the interests of the Greek Cypriot administration and the Greek Cypriot people." He said a Cyprus resolution can no longer be delayed, warning that if it is, Turkey would consider alternative paths. "Trying to pressure Turkey misreads its power. Turkey's will to protect its interests and the interests of Turkish Cypriots is as strong as its will to reach peace," Davutoglu said.