Foreign Minister Tahsin Ertuğruloğlu has stressed that as long as the Greek Cypriot side does not respect the rights of the Turkish Cypriots, a solution is not possible in Cyprus.

Minister Ertuğruloğlu held a press conference at TRNC Doha Representative Office in Qatar within the framework of his visit to Gulf countries.

Replying to the questions of journalists regarding the Cyprus problem, the negotiation process, the TRNC and his visit to Gulf countries, Ertuğruloğlu gave information about TRNC tourism, higher education and the other sectors, inviting members of the press to visit the TRNC.

Discussing the history of the Cyprus problem, Ertuğruoğlu stressed that as long as the Greek Cypriot side is considered to be a state and the Turkish Cypriot side as a community, it is not possible to reach a successful outcome to the negotiations which have been ongoing for 50 years under the auspices of the UN.

Expressing that as long as the Greek Cypriot side considers the Turkish Cypriot people to be a minority, does not respect their rights and accept them as equal partners, he believes that it is not possible to reach an agreement. He added that UN soldiers have been on the island since 1964, but that they could not prevent the conflicts in Cyprus. Ertuğruloğlu stressed that the only guarantee of peace and prosperity in Cyprus comes from the Turkish Armed Forces, and pointed out that since 1974, not one conflict has taken place thanks to their presence. Expressing that political and sovereign equality is a sine qua non for a solution to be reached in Cyprus, Minister Ertuğruloğlu stressed that Turkish Cypriot people are peaceful and that they have always been willing to find a solution in the island. However, the Greek Cypriot side, he said, wants to continue the current negotiation process as open ended, put obstacles in front of Turkish Cypriots efforts to globalize, and blame Turkey as an occupant.

Noting that the Greek Cypriot side did not give permission to children who arrived in Cyprus via Larnaca airport for the 23rd April celebrations to pass to the TRNC Ertuğruloğlu said this was not acceptable.

The Minister stressed that as a result of the embargoes imposed on the TRNC, direct flights and trade to the country are not possible. He said, however, that thanks to the advantages accorded by Turkey, the TRNC has developed areas such as higher education and tourism, and pointed out that there is close cooperation between Turkey and Qatar.

Responding to a question on natural gas exploration in Cyprus, Ertuğruloğlu said that the Turkish Cypriot people have equal and legal rights on the natural gas explored in Cyprus, and this should not be forgotten. Ertuğruloğlu said that if this reality is not taken into consideration, the Turkish Cypriot side and Turkey will not allow the Greek Cypriot side to take any further steps without considering the rights of the Turkish Cypriots.

Minister Ertuğruloğlu further said that he held very positive meetings in Saudi Arabia, Oman and Qatar within the framework of his visit.

Following the press conference, the TRNC Doha Representative hosted a reception for members of the press.

Akıncı and Özgürgün receive groups for the 19th International Children’s Festival

President Mustafa Akıncı and Prime Minister Hüseyin Özgürgün each received a group for the 19th International Children’s Festival on 23 April.

In his speech, President Akıncı stated that the 23rd of April was gifted to all the world’s children by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and that this special day is celebrated in the TRNC every year.

Akıncı stated that participation of students from 7 countries was planned for the festival however children from 2 of those countries were not able to participate due to the ‘prejudiced’ attitudes of the Greek Cypriot side in not allowing the children to enter the country.  President Akıncı reminded those present that the participation of children from Serbia and Russia was prevented by the Greek Cypriot Administration. Akıncı also noted that the Greek Cypriots have concerns with regard to the recognition of the TRNC.

In his reception speech, Prime Minister Özgürgün pointed out the importance of International Children’s Day, which commemorates the first opening of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, saying that the day was dedicated to children by Atatürk.

The Prime Minister also noted that it was everyone’s duty to leave behind a country where children could look to the future in security and trust, and wished the children happiness and enthusiasm in celebrating the feast.

Özgürgün issues a message for the 23rd April National Sovereignty and Children’s Day

Prime Minister Hüseyin Özgürgün has issued a message for the 23rd April National Sovereignty and Children Day.  In his message Özgürgün emphasized that his greatest wish is that the children of today do not suffer wars or the pains resulting from conflict. Özgürgün stated that 23rd of April 1920 was a turning point in the history of the Republic of Turkey, and an honourable feast day for the children.

Özgürgün said, “As a Turkish Cypriot who experienced the pain of war in my childhood during the years of struggle for existence, my greatest wish is that children do not suffer war or the pains that come with conflict. Our fundamental duty is to leave a modern, democratic and caring country to our children, where they can look to the future in security and trust. It should be our common goal to ensure that our children will grow up as youngsters who are well-equipped, productive, self-reliant, and most importantly, who love their country and benefit from the necessities of the modern world, including education, science, technology, sport, culture and social life”.

“We are rising”: The Hot Air Balloon Festival opens in Lefkoşa

The Hot Air Balloon Festival took place in Lefkoşa last weekend with the cooperation of the Ministry of Tourism and Environment and TRNC Air Sports Federation.

The Minister of Tourism and Environment Fikri Ataoğlu also attended the festival, which took place at the Lefkoşa Atatürk Stadium with the slogan “We Are Rising”. Speaking at the event, Ataoğlu stated that organisers wanted to showcase something different from the usual activities in the tourism week and hopes that the hot air balloons will create added value for the country.  Ataoğlu also noted that citizens and tourists can attend the festival free of charge during the week.

Source: TRNC Public Information Office –

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