Statement regarding the refusal of entry into TRNC of a Serbian group of children that arrived in South Cyprus in order to attend the 19th International 23rd of April Children’s Festival
Children’s performance groups from various countries including Serbia were invited to participate in the 19th International Children’s Festival being held on 23rd of April which was organized as part of the annual 23rd of April National Sovereignty and Children’s Day celebrations.
A group of children from Serbia that arrived at Larnaca Airport in South Cyprus in order to attend the festival was refused entry into TRNC by Greek Cypriot police after being kept waiting for hours. Our Ministry’s diplomatic efforts to allow access for the Serbian group in the presence of the UN Peacekeeping Force throughout the day were unfortunately rejected and with no warning and without being allowed to exit the airport, the Serbian children aged 10-11 were sent back to their country in a cruel and inhumane way by Greek authorities in a private aircraft.
The aforementioned incident is the product of such a mentality that cannot even tolerate Turkish Cypriot children’s interaction with children from foreign countries and represents the latest example of Greek Cypriot Administration’s well known policy that intends to isolate Turkish Cypriots from the rest of the world.
It is once again proven that the current vision and mentality of the Greek Cypriot side has not changed, and that its restrictive attitude as well as its desire to subjugate the Turkish Cypriots still continues. The attitude of the Greek Cypriot side makes one re-question how a new partnership is to be established and even if realised, how it is to be maintained.
Ertuğruloğlu visits Qatar
Foreign Minister Tahsin Ertuğruloğlu has travelled to Qatar within the framework of his meeting programme in Gulf countries.
Ertuğruloğlu, who began his meetings in Qatar’s capital Doha yesterday, met with Vice Chairman of Qatar Chamber, Muhammad Bin Ahmed Bin Towar Al Kuwari. During the meeting, Kuwari and his delegation were briefed by Ertuğruloğlu on tourism, trade and higher education in the TRNC. Ertuğruloğlu stressed that Qatar businesses will be able to cooperate and develop trade relationships with businesses in the TRNC.
Speaking about the Cyprus issue and the ongoing negotiation process, Ertuğruloğlu warned that the Greek Cypriot side is not making efforts to establish an equal partnership with the Turkish Cypriots in Cyprus, rather to tie the Turkish Cypriot people to lengthy negotiations and enforce heavy embargoes on them.
Ertuğruloğlu also pointed out that the Greek Cypriot Administration has recently prevented children who came to the island via South Cyprus from attending the Children’s Festival celebrations to be held in the TRNC on 23rd April.
Foreign Minister Tahsin Ertuğruloğlu also attended the opening of the “Expo Turkey by Qatar” fair in Doha. Ertuğruloğlu, who participated in the fair as the guest of honour, in order to develop commercial relations between Turkey and Qatar and to enable joint investments, inaugurated the opening ceremony at the fair.
Additionally, Ertuğruloğlu met with President of the Tourism Commission of Qatar Hasan Al-Abraham.
Responding to questions, Ertuğruloğlu gave a briefing to Al-İbrahim about the Cyprus problem, the negotiation process and the latest developments with regards to the Cyprus issue. He also addressed the recent developments around Cyprus’ natural resources.
Pointing out that there are very strict trade and political relations between Qatar and Turkey, Ertuğruloğlu said that he was surprised that a Qatari company will cooperate with the Greek Cypriot side on natural gas in Cyprus.
Ertuğruloğlu emphasized that Turkish Cypriots share the rights of natural resources in Cyprus and that this should be taken into account. He also noted that Turkey would not allow a unilateral step in the name of natural gas.
Negotiations continue as leaders meet today
Cyprus negotiations will continue today, as President Mustafa Akıncı and Greek Cypriot leader Nikos Anastasiades are set to meet at 18:30 (local time) at the UN buffer zone.
The negotiation process, which had been stalled due to the Greek Cypriot Parliament’s decision to commemorate the Enosis plebiscite in schools, resumed on 11 April after the Greek Cypriot side took the necessary steps to revert the Enosis decision. Following a two months pause, leaders discussed the new negotiation process at their first meeting and agreed on four meeting dates. Following today’s meeting, the two leaders will meet again on the 2nd, 11th and 17th of May.
Within the framework of the new negotiation process, negotiators Özdil Nami and Andreas Mavroyannis held a meeting yesterday at 12:00 (local time), under the direction of the leaders.
Burcu: “The Greek Cypriot side preventing children from attending International Children Festival is unacceptable”
Presidential Spokesperson Barış Burcu has said that the Greek Cypriot side’s decision to turn away Serbian children who arrived on the island via South Cyprus to attend the International Children’s Festival Celebrations in the TRNC is unacceptable
In a written statement Burcu stated that, “efforts by the Greek Cypriot Administration to prevent children to attend this festival is inadmissible. There is no reasonable justification or explanation for preventing these children from crossing into the TRNC, rather than sending them back to Serbia”.
Stating that the Greek Cypriot Administration continues its efforts to isolate the Turkish Cypriots from the world, Burcu said that the act was “unacceptable at such a time, when we are trying to continue our efforts to find a solution in Cyprus.”
National Sovereignty and Children’s Day celebrations have started at the TRNC Assembly
Activities to celebrate the National Sovereignty and Children’s Day, which is on 23 April, have started as the torch was lit at the TRNC Assembly yesterday.
Around 500 primary school students from 6 different countries, including the TRNC, met at the TRNC Assembly to participate in the activities.
The torch was lit by Minister of National Education and Culture Özdemir Berova and Speaker of the Assembly Sibel Siber, symbolizing the beginning of the activities. The students from Turkey, Russia, Tatarstan, Kyrgyzstan and Lithuania represented their countries by wearing their local dress.
Addressing the students, Berova and Siber referred to the importance of this date, in which the first gathering of the Turkish Grand National Assembly, proclaimed by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, is commemorated.
Source: TRNC Public Information Office –
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