Negotiations on Cyprus' future can start only if the sovereign equality of Turkish Cypriots is accepted, Turkish Cypriot President Ersin Tatar said yesterday, Turkish News Agency-Cyprus (TAK) reports.
According to the report, Turkish Cypriots would prefer the present conditions rather than risk their future by accepting the Greek Cypriot administration as sole owner of the island, Tatar explained.
"I do not believe in a federal solution for the Cyprus issue," he said, adding that he favours an agreement through negotiation, calling this policy realistic and right.
Cyprus has been divided since 1964, when ethnic attacks forced Turkish Cypriots to withdraw into enclaves for their safety. In 1974, a Greek Cypriot coup to allow Greece to annex the territory led to Turkey's military intervention as a guarantor power.
The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was founded in 1983.
The Greek Cypriot administration, backed by Greece, became a member of the European Union in 2004, although that year most Greek Cypriots rejected a UN settlement plan in a referendum envisaging a united Cyprus joining the EU.