December 8, 2023

Ministry of Foreign Affairs: “If the Greek side insists on continuing to send consumption materials to Greek Cypriots and Maronites living in the North, the items will be made subject to customs duty procedures”.

The Greek Cypriots and Maronites who have chosen to reside in the North of the Island following the Happy Peace Operation of 1974, have been living their lives within the borders of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) without any issue. Both the Greek Cypriots and Maronites carry out their religious services in the churches where their own religious figures are present. Moreover, Greek Cypriots are able to receive education at their own schools where teachers from the South come to work.

Just as the Greek Cypriots and Maronites living in our country possess the right of free movement within the TRNC, they are also able to cross without any hindrance to the South since the borders between the North and South were opened to free crossings in 2003. Also, their relatives and close friends in the South are able to cross to the North to visit the Greek Cypriots and Maronites as often as and whenever they please.

As indicated above, the Greek Cypriots and Maronites living within the borders of the TRNC are in no way confined to or besieged in the areas where they reside. Furthermore, they are also able to benefit from all health, municipal, etc., services that are afforded to TRNC citizens.

Despite the aforementioned, the changed circumstances since 1974 and the current situation are being ignored, and the Greek Cypriot leadership is making this issue a constant subject of political exploitation. Within the framework of its well-known political rhetoric, the Greek Cypriot leadership is portraying the Greek Cypriots and Maronites to the international community as “enclaved in the occupied territories” and is regularly sending, through the United Nations Peacekeeping Force, various daily consumption supplies to the said people. It has been long determined that the Greek Cypriot and Maronite recipients have in fact been selling these items that they clearly don’t need to the Turkish Cypriots.

Be it to put an end to this issue becoming the subject of political exploitation, or to prevent the illicit sale of these consumption items on the market, our Government has taken the decision to end the current implementation.

As of 1 October 2017, if the Greek Cypriot administration insists on continuing to send the said items to Greek Cypriots and Maronites living in our country, the items will be made subject to customs duty procedures in accordance with our relevant legislation and the passage of the items to our country will only be allowed once the necessary taxes and fees have been collected. For humanitarian reasons, medical aid supplies will be exempt from the scope of the new procedure.

For some time now, various meetings have taken place at all levels with the United Nations regarding this matter. The necessary technical information concerning the new implementation will be conveyed to the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in the shortest possible time.

We would like to make publicly clear that this procedural change, which has been deemed necessary, is in line with the Population Exchange Agreement signed between the Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots in Vienna in 1975.

Ertuğruloğlu meets Under-Secretary General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix

Foreign Minister Tahsin Ertuğruloğlu met with Deputy of UN Secretary General Jean Pierre Lacroix within the framework of his New York meeting programme last week.

Minister Ertuğruloğlu conveyed the Turkish Cypriot side’s views to Lacroix at the meeting, which was held at the UN building. The UN’s work in Cyprus was also discussed during the meeting, before Ertuğruloğlu expressed the Turkish Cypriot side’s expectations from the UN at the new Process.

Following his New York meetings, Minister Ertuğruloğlu will travel today to Washington to meet with authorities, think tanks and media representatives.

Ertuğruloğlu meets OIC Secretary General Al-Othaimeen and Foreign Minister of Oman Alawi

Foreign Minister Tahsin Ertuğruloğlu met last week with Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Secretary General Dr.Yousef Al-Othaimeen, as well as the Foreign Minister of Sultanate of Oman Yusuf bin Alawi, separately.

Following the annual OIC Foreign Ministers meetings at the UN Headquarters in New York, Minister Ertuğruloğlu met with OIC Secretary General Dr.Yousef Al-Othaimeen, and thanked him for his support and cooperation with the Turkish Cypriot people.

Pointing out the significance of speaking at the OIC meeting, which the TRNC attends as an observer member, Ertuğruloğlu said that the OIC and ECO are the most important international organisations through which the TRNC is able to make its voice heard to the world. He added that the Turkish Cypriot side will undertake a number of international initiatives to explain the cause of Turkish Cypriots to the international community, and to lift the unfair isolations imposed on Turkish Cypriots.

During the meeting with Alawi, the TRNC’s current priorities and its efforts in developing relations with OIC member countries were discussed. Ertuğruloğlu also informed Alawi about the latest developments in the Cyprus issue.

Ertuğruloğlu: “As long as the Turkish Cypriot peoples’ rights and equality are overlooked, a solution to the Cyprus problem will not be possible”

Foreign Minister Tahsin Ertuğruloğlu has reiterated that the United Nations (UN) should open a new page for the resolution of the Cyprus issue, on the basis of two states and equality, adding that as long as the Turkish Cypriot peoples’ rights and equality are not respected, a solution will not be possible.

He made these comments during an interview to the Agence France-Presse (AFP) in New York, where he has been holding meetings in the context of UNGA.

Responding to a question about the unsuccessful outcome of the Cyprus conference in Crans-Montana, the Foreign Minister noted that the process had been flawed from the outset, and subsequently ended in failure. Pointing to the need for the United Nations to begin a new process based on equality in Cyprus, the Foreign Minister said, ‘it shouldn’t be a state and community that sits at a table, but a state and another state’.

The Foreign Minister noted that, throughout the duration of the long-running Cyprus problem, the only side that has consistently lost out during the last 50 years are the Turkish Cypriots. “If the Greek Cypriot side is accepted as the only state in Cyprus, while the Turkish Cypriot people are not given equal rights, are kept under embargoes and their rights are not accepted and they are seen as a minority community, a solution will not be possible in Cyprus,” said Ertuğruloğlu.

When asked about the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and the promotion of the country, Ertuğruloğlu said that the TRNC being promoted was only one of the options on the table, and that this can only be decided in conjunction with Turkey.  He reiterated that the Turkish Cypriot people will never give up on motherland Turkey’s active and effective guarantees over the island.

“The only country the Turkish Cypriot people trust is Turkey. The Turkish Cypriot people are a peaceful population. Up until today the Turkish Cypriot people have attended the Cyprus talks with the hope of finding a solution but unfortunately this hasn’t been reciprocated. From now on they will continue on their path with good neighbourly relations with the Greek Cypriot side” said the Foreign Minister.

Emphasizing the fact that from now on a confederation in Cyprus can be discussed as this is more viable, the Foreign Minister said, “A solution is not possible in a country where only the Greek Cypriots are recognised”.

It is on this premise that a solution has not been agreed for the last 50 years, and if this continues to be the mentality, a solution will not be found in the next 500 years either.

“We clearly saw this in Crans-Montana, where not only did the conference end but the process as well. We are not saying the negotiations are over, but we are saying we cannot continue on the same unsustainable terms as before” said Ertuğruloğlu. He concluded that the time has come to open a new page in Cyprus.

Akıncı: “It is obvious that a solution cannot be reached with the same method”

President Mustafa Akıncı has said that the TRNC Government shares the same opinion as UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres regarding the future of the process in Cyprus, and that Guterres was not attempting to revive the process, as a result of the upcoming elections in the Greek Cypriot side.

In a statement to the press following his meeting with Guterres in New York, Akıncı stated that he had the opportunity to share views with Guterres and understand his position.

Pointing out that the current Secretary-General was a useful contributor in Crans Montana, Akıncı noted that the framework that Guterres proposed was distorted by the Greek Cypriot side’s wishes, and that the Greek Cypriot administration could not enter into this framework while the Turkish side remained faithful.

Akıncı outlined that the Greek Cypriot leader Nikos Anastasiades could not be expected to make serious decisions when preparing for the election. He then pointed out the reasons the problem could not be solved, where mistakes were made, and the way to solve it.

Akıncı also stated that they should also try different methods to achieve more successful results in the future. President Akıncı said, “It is obvious that a solution cannot be reached using the same method”.

Expressing that the Greek Cypriot side is indifferent to the idea of equality with the Turkish Cypriots and that it is widely understood that they are not ready for a solution based on political equality, Akıncı said that the Greek Cypriot side should acknowledge and accept that one day, a Turkish Cypriot could also be the president of the common state. He asked what kind of partnership would be established if this were not the case.

President Akıncı stated that the Greek Cypriot side should also discuss these issues during the election process.

Emphasizing that the Turkish Cypriot side continues to live under isolation and embargoes despite the contributions made by the Turkish Cypriot side in the direction of a solution, Akıncı stressed that they do not want this situation to continue.

President Akıncı reiterated that the geography of the island cannot be changed and that searches for a solution will continue. He added that he was satisfied with his contacts in New York and his contacts with Guterres.

President Mustafa Akıncı also received Turkey’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Feridun Sinirlioglu, within the framework of his New York meeting programme.  Akıncı and Sinirlioğlu evaluated the situation and exchanged views at the meeting which took place in the TRNC’s New York Representative Office.

Source: TRNC Public Information Office –

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Pictures shown are courtesy of the TRNC Public Information Office Facebook page.

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