President Ersin Tatar’s opening speech at Bayrak Radio and Television to commence the celebrations on the 39th anniversary of the proclamation of the TRNC is as follows;
“Brave Turkish Cypriot people,
Dear brothers and sisters,
Today November 15, is the 39th anniversary of the proclamation of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which was founded at the cost of blood and life.
Today is the anniversary of the day when our struggle for freedom, independence and sovereignty was crowned with our own Republic. Today, Turkish Cypriot people have the greatest reason to rejoice and to celebrate. I wish you all a Happy 15th November Republic Day.
With the most heartfelt and sincere feelings, whilst saluting our heroic people, whose hard work, efforts and great sacrifices have laid down the foundations of the TRNC, I also commemorate with gratitude Dr. Fazıl Küçük, who led our struggle for freedom, Founding President Rauf Raif Denktaş and his colleagues, and our mujahedeen and Mehmetçik (Turkish soldiers) who were martyred in this holy struggle. May they all rest in peace and may our veterans lead long and healthy lives.
Dear brothers and sisters,
If we are able to live freely today, as an independent and sovereign people in our own homeland under the shadow of our own flag, we owe this to the epic resistance of our people, to our martyrs and to the help and support of Motherland Türkiye, who has always supported us and stood by us. We can never forget these.
The TRNC is the honour of our people and our guarantee to continue to exist in this land that we know as our homeland. The TRNC is entrusted to us by our martyrs and it is our greatest duty to protect it.
Ever since 1878 — when the British Colonial Administration arrived in Cyprus and up to the present day, the just and sacred resistance of our people have been continuing against the attempts of the Greek Cypriots to make Cyprus a Hellenic island. Although our people paid a heavy price, they did not bow down and surrender to the Greek-Greek Cypriot duo and they did not allow the honour of Turkishness to be trampled over.
According to Greek Cypriot mentality, which has not changed and is continuing even today, Turkish Cypriot people have no rights in Cyprus. According to this mentality, the Turkish Cypriot people are a minority and do not have any inherent rights. Besides the Greek Cypriots, the whole world should know that at the very least we have as much rights as the Greek Cypriots on this island. We are not guests in this land that is our homeland.
In 1960, the Turkish Cypriot people became one of the equal founding partners of the Republic of Cyprus, following years of resistance led by the Turkish Resistance Organisation (TMT), which was born from the spirit of our people in response to the armed attacks and atrocities which started as far back as 1955 by the EOKA terrorists and organised by the Greek-Greek Cypriot duo against our people.
Almost immediately after the establishment of the Republic of Cyprus partnership, the Greek Cypriot leadership, who did not give up on the dream of Enosis and saw the Republic of Cyprus as ‘a springboard to Enosis’, started drawing up the Akritas Plan to ethnically cleanse Cyprus of Turkish Cypriots. They began implementing this plan to annihilate the Turkish Cypriots — and the first attacks were staged on Bloody Christmas, on 21 December 1963. Our people were massacred in these attacks. Over 25,000 Turkish Cypriots from 103 of our villages were forced to leave everything they owned and migrate. Turkish Cypriot People were forced to live in tents, caves and ghettos, and were squeezed into just three per cent of the island’s territory for over a decade. However, we never surrendered to the Greek-Greek Cypriot duo in those dark days. We defended ourselves and our dignity and indeed our sovereign equal rights, in resistance led by TMT and with the support of Motherland Türkiye.
The Turkish Cypriot people, who were one of the co-founders in the partnership republic, were ejected in 1963 by force of arms from the state apparatus by the Greek Cypriots who implemented their objective to transform the island into a Greek State.
In the face of these attacks, our people established the General Committee in January 1964 in order to meet the administrative needs of the Turkish Cypriots. This administrative formation is the first step we took towards becoming a State. The basis of this is because there are and have always been two separate peoples in Cyprus with inherent rights.
We have always progressed on the path of becoming a State with great faith and determination. Following the establishment of the General Committee, which was the first step, the Provisional Turkish Cypriot Administration and Turkish Administration were established.
After the 20th July 1974 Peace Operation which saved the Turkish Cypriot people from extinction and provided us with a separate homeland with our freedom as well as bringing peace to all of Cyprus, the Autonomous Turkish Cypriot Administration was formed until 1975 when the Turkish Federated State of Cyprus was established. On 15 November, 1983, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was proclaimed, in accordance with the political will and desire of our people. We are celebrating the 39th anniversary of the proclamation of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus with great enthusiasm, excitement and pride. These commemorations will continue forever.
Dear brothers and sisters,
Different negotiation processes, which was started in 1968 and continued for many decades in order to find a solution to the Cyprus issue, ended in failure due to the intransigent attitude and unwillingness of the Greek Cypriot side to share power and prosperity on the basis of equality with the Turkish Cypriot side.
The Greek Cypriots, under the guise of a federal model, have been trying to demolish the guarantee rights of Motherland Türkiye, and sought to secure the withdrawal of Turkish forces from the island of Cyprus, and reduce the status of our people into that of a minority. We, of course, could not accept these.
The Greek Cypriot Side, who has been continuing to pay lip service to wanting a federal-based agreement, rejected a UN Comprehensive Settlement of the Cyprus issue in the separately held simultaneous referenda in 2004. Following many more years of negotiations for a federal-based settlement, the Greek Cypriot side again proved that a federal-based solution is not possible, after yet another rejection in Crans-Montana in 2017. The Greek Cypriot side have rejected 15 settlement plans and ideas over many decades. This has shown that a federation is not possible, not realistic, and not feasible. It does not conform to the realities on the island of Cyprus, nor to the mentality prevailing in South Cyprus.
Taking into account the realities of Cyprus and what has happened in the negotiation processes in the past, I raised the vision for a settlement to be based on the existence of two separate sovereign States before the 2020 Presidential election in our country. Our people supported this solution proposal by electing me as President.
This form of solution, which will benefit Cyprus and the region, is also supported by Motherland Türkiye and I have put this solution proposal forward for the first time in Geneva in April 2021. Subsequently, in the meetings held in Brussels and New York, I reiterated that we would not step back from our solution proposal and that our State, sovereignty and equal international status should be accepted in order for formal negotiations to begin.
As the Turkish Cypriot side, we are in favour of a fair, permanent and sustainable agreement. The way to this is not through a federal-based agreement, but through our solution proposal based on the cooperative relationship of two sovereign equal States.
Our proposal for this basis is gaining more acceptance with each passing day, and has been strengthened following the historic call by the Republic of Türkiye President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on the international community to formally recognise the TRNC, which he made during his speech at the 77th session of the UN General Assembly in New York, on 20 September.
This momentous call which has started a new era, has also been reiterated in the decision of the National Security Council of the Republic of Türkiye and the Speaker of the Grand National Assembly of Türkiye, Mr. Mustafa Şentop.
The Vice President of the Republic of Türkiye, Mr. Fuat Oktay, who visited our country on November 9, 2022, stated that the solution proposal based on two sovereign equal States cannot be abandoned and that efforts for the formal recognition of our Republic will continue.
The unanimous decision taken at the 9th Organisation of the Turkic States Leaders’ Summit held in Samarkand, Uzbekistan that admitted the TRNC as an observer member, is one giant step for us, and signifies that our vision on this new path is proving to be a success.
Our State gained this status for the first time in an international organisation as the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus under its constitutional name. This milestone event shall be recorded in the pages of history with great pride.
On behalf of myself and my people, I would like to express my gratitude to the Turkish President Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, to Turkish diplomacy, who worked hard to bring about this outcome, and thank the heads of state and government of all member states who supported it and voted unanimously in our favour.
Dear brothers and sisters,
Despite the embargoes and pressures which can only be described as ‘persecution’, the TRNC, with its administrative, judicial and other State institutions, has reached a modern structure based on democracy and the will of the people. This is something we should be proud of.
We have overcome the negative effects on our economy and our sectors that came about due to the pandemic, following the great sacrifice of our people, doctors, health workers and the help of Motherland Türkiye.
While our economy, tourism, agriculture, industrial, higher education and other sectors continue to grow and strengthen with the support of the Motherland of Türkiye, we will go further with new projects and investments. The opening of the fenced part of Maraş has also made a great contribution to the country’s economy and tourism.
Whilst the water of Anatolia continues to be transported to the TRNC under the ‘Project of the Century’ via an 80km long undersea pipeline at a rate of 75 million m3 per annum, more ground breaking projects have also been inaugurated.
During the visit of the Vice President of the Republic of Türkiye, Mr. Fuat Oktay, to the TRNC on November 9, 2022, the inauguration ceremony was held for a Public Data Centre, the intercity roads and village roads, extension of the Water Supply Project to central Mesaoria and construction of Lowland Irrigation Transmission Line, which will strengthen the economy and agriculture. In addition to these, with the new donations to be provided by Motherland Türkiye, the TRNC will become stronger with new innovative projects related to economy, transportation, education, industry, agriculture, informatics and other sectors.
Meanwhile, Mr Oktay, who inspected the construction site of the new TRNC Presidency, Parliament, and the 400-acre National Park, delivered a very important message by stating that these would be the seal of the TRNC which will be stronger when completed by the 40th anniversary of the proclamation of our Republic.
The future ahead is bright. Let there be no doubt, the TRNC will be a shining star in the eastern Mediterranean, as long as we preserve our unity and solidarity, and trust each other and embrace Motherland Türkiye.
Dear brothers and sisters,
As the Turkish Cypriot side, we continue to make sincere and positive calls to the Greek Cypriot side to keep the dialogue path open, whilst the Greek Cypriot side intensifies its armament activities and escalates tensions in the eastern Mediterranean. A great struggle is continuing in the region over hydrocarbon and energy resources. The Greek Cypriot side is trying to unilaterally claim the whole of the energy resources for themselves, despite the fact that everybody accepts the resources also belong to Turkish Cypriots. We will not be spectators to this injustice and together with Motherland Türkiye, we are determined to take every precaution and do whatever is necessary to protect our rights and interests.
Dear brothers and sisters,
As we celebrate the 39th anniversary of the proclamation of the TRNC, I wish to make a fresh call to the world once again: “We will not give up our State, our sovereignty, our independence and the protection of the Turkish forces or the guarantee of Motherland Türkiye. We will not return to the dark days that existed on this island pre-1974, and we will never accept becoming a minority of Greek Cypriots. We will glorify the TRNC even more and continue on our way together with Motherland Türkiye. This is the way to sustainable peace and stability in our island and the region.
As we commemorate the Republic Day once again, I salute you all with my most sincere good wishes and respect. In the new period, we will continue to move forward on the new path together. We are stronger than yesterday; we will be even stronger tomorrow.