Foreign Minister Tahsin Ertuğruloğlu has expressed his desire for efforts to begin towards achieving international recognition of the TRNC.
In his message for the 20th July Peace and Freedom Day, Ertuğruloğlu said that the date 20th July 1974 is the date on which the Turkish Cypriot people were reborn, taking the chance to live in security and establishing their own state. Stating that the Government will continue to do its utmost in developing the nation, and that all political parties have joint responsibilities on this issue, Ertuğruloğlu said the TRNC and its people’s interests must be a priority.
Adding that the Cyprus problem should be set aside from party politics, Ertuğruloğlu stressed that all parties should unite around the national cause for the benefit of all our people.
The Foreign Minister said that the current status quo is not sustainable and one which no one is satisfied with. Minister Ertuğruloğlu said that the Turkish Cypriot side is the side which most desires a solution in Cyprus. He added that this has already been demonstrated in Crans-Montana, Switzerland where the 50 year old negotiation process ended.
Ertuğruloğlu expressed his desire for the start of efforts towards recognition of the TRNC and called on the European Union and United Nations to keep their promises, lifting the unfair embargoes imposed on the TRNC.
Akıncı: “We are not responsible for a solution not being reached”
Speaking during the ceremony held in Lefkosa yesterday to mark the 43rd anniversary of the 20th of July Peace Operation, President Mustafa Akıncı said that the Turkish Cypriot side has made huge efforts from the beginning in order to reach a solution based on equality in Cyprus. Akıncı said, “Our vision for uniting Cyprus is very clear, we should be one of two equal partners”.
Akıncı said that the Greek Cypriot side has a problem with sharing the recognised state which they have grasped for themselves since 1964, and that they have difficulties accepting the main principle of equality to find a solution.
Indicating that they are not responsible for not reaching a positive result in Crans-Montana, Akıncı said that although they give importance to the security issue in the efforts to find a solution, they believe this is not a threat for the other side, and added, “we cannot accept the notion of ‘0 troop and 0 guarantee’. Our proposal is to decrease the military presence gradually as the agreement is implemented and cooperation and confidence increase”.
He continued, “It is not fair for the Turkish Cypriot people to be living under embargoes due to the unwillingness of the Greek Cypriot side to find a solution. Turkey used her rights emanating from the 1960 agreements and intervened on 20 July 1974 preventing the unification of Cyprus and Greece”.
He also said that after the 20th July 1974, the principles of a bi-zonal, bi-communal structure were established, and that these main principles for a possible solution evolved with the summit agreements between Denktaş and Makarios and between Denktas and Kipranou in 1977 and 1979 respectively. All efforts for finding a bi-zonal, bi-communal federal solution based on political equality since then have been unsuccessful, said Akıncı.
He stressed that they have made huge efforts for the last two years, both facilitating the presentation of maps by both sides for the first time in the history of the negotiations and also the convening of the 5-party conference. Akıncı added that the Turkish Cypriot side and Turkey have been the most determined parties to finding a solution in Cyprus.
He explained that they expected the Greek Cypriot side to give up on their demand of “0 troop and 0 guarantee”, and said, “however, the Greek Cypriot side has not abandoned the notion of ‘0 troop and 0 guarantee’ and could not demonstrate a logical and realistic understanding of the situation.”
Akıncı said, “Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side had a great role in the convening of the Cyprus conferences last year in Mont Pelerin and this year in Geneva and Crans-Montana. The constructive and result-oriented attitude of the Turkish Cypriot side and Turkey was demonstrated in all these meetings to all the participants, mainly the UN. That is why we are not responsible for not reaching a positive conclusion; we really wanted to find a solution.”
Stressing the importance that equality, security and freedom had for a solution to be reached, Akıncı said that they wanted this for both communities, not just for the Turkish Cypriots, and that they always acted in order to guarantee that one side’s security doesn’t mean a threat for the other side. Akıncı continued, “Of course, we could not accept the notion of ’0 troop and 0 guarantee’. It was clear that what bothered the Greek Cypriot side the most was political equality rather than the security issue. The Greek Cypriot side does not want to share their powers with the Turkish Cypriots. Although we, the Turkish Cypriot side, showed our will to find a solution, made the necessary territorial arrangements as demanded by the UN Secretary-General, and showed flexibility on the issue of Turkey’s guarantee, unfortunately, the Greek Cypriot side did not show determination to find a solution”.
Akıncı also said that the Annan plan was sometimes on the agenda of the negotiations but that the Greek Cypriot side never took into consideration that the Annan plan also considered the sensitivities of the Turkish Cypriot side. Although the Greek Cypriots rejected the Annan plan in 2004, during the final phase of the negotiation process they demanded to keep some parts of the plan, which were favourable to them without taking into consideration the sensitivities of the Turkish Cypriot side.
He also stressed that during the two-years negotiation process, very important progress was made and said that if the Greek Cypriot side had shown a more realistic and reasonable approach in regards to the 8-10 most contested points, it would have been possible to reach an agreement in Cyprus.
Stating that one of the most contested issues was property, Akıncı said that the Greek Cypriot side insisted on some proposals that would have meant uncertainty and would have disturbed the Turkish Cypriot people, as well as on some arrangements that would have hurt our economy. He stressed that the Greek Cypriot side never wanted to understand that uncertainty on the property issue would make many people vote “no” in a referendum.
Furthermore, President Akıncı said that the Greek Cypriot side deliberately made false statements saying that Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side had demanded the right of residence for 80 million Turks, and that this is not true.
He added that although it had been decided that small changes to the Customs Union Agreement would be enough, and the EU authorities said that would not be a problem during the Cyprus Conference, the Greek Cypriot side continued to exploit this issue.
Akıncı also referred to voices raised after the Cyprus Conference in Crans-Montana in the Greek Cypriot side calling for the Turkish Cypriot side to break relations with Turkey, Akıncı said that for the Turkish Cypriot side, being geographically close to Turkey has always been important and thinks that this is beneficial not only for Turkish Cypriots but also for Greek Cypriots. He said, “Unfortunately, the Greek Cypriot side never wanted an equal partnership in Cyprus, so they wanted to get rid of Turkey. They never wanted the Turkish Cypriot side’s status to be raised and they did their utmost to make the Turkish Cypriots live under embargoes. They want the Turkish Cypriots to break relations with Turkey, which is the country that opens its doors to the Turkish Cypriots. Is this reasonable?”
He also stressed it is not fair for Turkish Cypriots to continue to live under embargoes due to the Greek Cypriot side’s unwillingness to find a solution. Akıncı said, “As I have always said, we will continue our path, conscious of our responsibilities to build a future in peace. We want to live on this island in peace and cooperation. We will continue our evaluations together with Turkey. We will be realistic”.
At the end of his speech, Akıncı underlined that equality, freedom, and security will always be the Turkish Cypriot side’s essential principles and started the celebrations of the Peace and Freedom Day.
Erdoğan : “The Turkish Cypriot people and Turkey cannot remain the victims of lack of a solution forever”
In a message to Turkish Cypriot President Mustafa Akinci to mark the occasion of the 20th July Peace and Freedom Day celebrations in the TRNC, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said: “The Turkish Cypriot people and Turkey cannot remain the victims of a lack of a solution forever.”
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said: “Turkey will continue as it has until today to side with Turkish Cypriots, providing support and an assurance of peace, freedoms and stability both on the island and in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.”
“Turkey cannot be expected to remain an impassive spectator as the Turkish Cypriot people suffer because of the perpetuation of the impasse and whilst facing inhumane restrictions that have no legal basis,” Erdogan said in the message.
The Turkish President declared that the Turkish Cypriots have demonstrated on all occasions their belief in peace and their commitment to resolving the Cyprus problem. Despite the constraints they face, Erdogan said, the Turkish Cypriots have also demonstrated the importance they attach to the principles of democracy. These are the foundations that enable them to deal with any challenges.
Regarding the recent, failed unification talks between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots with the mediation of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Erdogan’s message to Akinci continued, “In the face of your honest attitude and your goodwill, the Greek Cypriot side responded with intransigence. Unfortunately, for that reason the Crans-Montana Conference in Switzerland did not succeed and the negotiation process did not lead to a solution.”
Erdogan concluded that, as in the past, Turkey will continue to be on the side of the Turkish Cypriots in the future. “Turkey will be the guarantor of peace, freedom and stability on the island of Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean.”
Yıldırım: Greek Cypriots proved they do not want to reach a solution
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım yesterday attended a ceremony held at Dr. Fazıl Küçük Boulevard in Lefkoşa, on the occasion of the 43rd Anniversary of the 20th July Peace Operation.
In his speech, Yıldırım referred to the Cyprus negotiation process, saying that Turkey would continue to protect the rights of Turkish Cypriots in the Eastern Mediterranean.
“It is a serious contradiction and injustice that Turkish Cypriots have paid for the uncompromising approach of the Greek Cypriot side for years,” Yıldırım said.
“Turkey believes that the energy resources in the eastern Mediterranean are an opportunity but the one-sided steps taken by the Greek Cypriot side are untimely, dangerous and encouraging the lack of a solution,” Yıldırım said.
He also pointed to the “unfair steps” taken by the Greek Cypriot side in encouraging a deadlock in the talks. Negotiations between the Turkish and Greek Cypriot leaders to reunify the island broke down in Switzerland on 6th July after the United Nations failed to broker a compromise.
The talks took on an additional dimension through the growing importance of energy reserves in the eastern Mediterranean, and in particular, around the island.
Yıldırım underlined that steps should be taken as soon as possible to end the unfair isolations imposed on the TRNC.
Kalın: “We call international community to lift isolations and sanctions on the TRNC”
Turkish Presidential spokesman İbrahim Kalın yesterday called on the international community to lift sanctions and end the unjustified isolation of the Turkish Cypriot people.
Stressing that Ankara has always taken a constructive approach to reunification talks, Kalın said: “The two sides could not reach the desired point because of obstacles from the Greek Cypriot side, despite our consistent commitment to make a success of the talks.”
Müftüoğlu : “The Peace Operation was carried out within the framework of international treaties and obligations”
Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Huseyin Muftuoglu described the Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias’s statement regarding the 43rd anniversary of the Cyprus Peace Operation as “unacceptable”.
Earlier on Thursday, Kotzias issued a statement which said that the intervention was “one of the most tragic pages in the history of Hellenism”.
In a statement, Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Huseyin Muftuoglu said: “As the Prime Minister once again emphasized in Lefkosa today (20th July), the Peace Operation was carried out within the framework of the rights and obligations of Turkey arising from international treaties.”
By taking the decision to intervene, Turkey prevented a large-scale massacre of the widely-outnumbered Turkish Cypriot people, and ensured that the ethnic violence and conflict on the island would not be repeated again.
“As a guarantor, Turkey showed the whole world that day that it would not allow Enosis (unification of Cyprus with Greece,) and that the Turkish Cypriots were not alone.”
“Turkey maintains its determination not to allow the common struggle of Greek Cypriots and Greece, expressed in the Greek Foreign Minister’s message, to threaten the peaceful existence and freedom of the Turkish Cypriot people,” Muftuoglu added.
ELAM continues racist protests
The Ledra Palace and Lokmacı crossing points in Lefkosa were temporarily closed by the Greek Cypriot Police on Thursday due to protests by the far-right Greek Cypriot National People’s Front (ELAM) in South Cyprus. The UN also took precautions on both sides of the crossings.
Members of ELAM came to the crossing points carrying Greek flags, singing the Greek national anthem and shouting: “Turks out.”
Source: TRNC Public Information Office –
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