Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan sent clear political messages to the international community with his illegal visit to the occupied areas, Christos Iakovou, director of the Cyprus Research Centre (KYKEM), told the CNA [Cyprus News Agency], adding that with its actions, Ankara wants to consolidate its presence on the island.

The CNA rushed to KYKEM, to that distinguished centre that studies many things relating to the island and abroad, so that it could offer its interpretation of the multiple messages sent in various directions, of course, by the Turkish president. As if an interpretation is needed of Erdogan’s position that after half a century, he is no longer willing to negotiate a federal solution, which neither the Greek Cypriot community, nor its leadership, nor the CNA, nor KYKEM, nor Chr. Iakovou want.

Asked to take stock of Erdogan’s illegal visit to the occupied areas, Mr. Iakovou said that “the Turkish president’s illegal visit to Cyprus is a simple repetition of the past, as we have seen in previous years”. It is, he noted, a visit which sends clear political messages internationally that Turkey is in Cyprus and that through the actions it is taking – such as the announcement on the construction of housing in Deryneia – it is consolidating its presence in Cyprus.

He added that the illegal visit also sends political messages that “the form of solution [it seeks], i.e., the recognition of two states and then the negotiation of a final solution, is the model with which Turkey means to promote the form of solution it wants”.

Erdogan said this himself. We have ears and we can hear that. Mr. Iakovou added only his assessment that “Erdogan’s illegal visit is a simple repetition of the past, as we have seen also in previous years.”

Which previous years is Mr. Iakovou referring to? The years when Erdogan declared that he was not prepared to tolerate “the suffering of 70 million Turks and 10 million Greeks because half a million Cypriots can’t get along with each other”? Perhaps the years when he forced Rauf Denktash to open the checkpoints and, in the end, sent him into retirement? Perhaps the years when Erdogan was voting ‘yes’ to a BBF solution and to the withdrawal of Attila, while Mr. Iakovou, the CNAers and the KYKEMers were voting ‘no’ to the solution and to the withdrawal of Turkish troops? Then again, perhaps the years when, despite our twisting and turning, Erdogan went so far as to negotiate (in Crans-Montana) even the abolition of guarantees?

CNA should ask the KYKEM scholars to explain which years the head of the centre is referring to so that we know who to “reward”.


Pambos Charalambous was born in Larnaca. He studied journalism in Athens, where he also worked in newspapers during his studies. Since 1982, he has been working at the newspaper "Alithia" as editor, editor-in-chief and director. He has a daily column and has been writing articles continuously for 40 years, apart from the period 2013-2018 when he was director of the Press Office of president Nicos Anastasiades. Their collaboration was terminated due to his disagreement with president Anastasiades' handling of the Cyprus issue.

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