Dear Citizens and residents of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus,
As families across the globe come together during this festive season, I want to wish everybody a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Celebrating the end of one year; and the beginning of another, offers us hope at a time when there are conflicts continuing in different parts of the world.
The year has been a difficult period due to war and conflict in some parts of the world which have had negative impact globally especially with regards to energy and to the supply of food. Millions of people in different countries have felt the terrible impacts of war and terrorism. I pray for there to be an end to all bloodshed and hardship and for all conflicts to be resolved through mutual respect between States and Peoples, with cooperation and solidarity of mankind. May diplomacy and dialogue be preferred over the use of weapons and war.
The struggle of the TRNC and the Turkish Cypriot People for fairness and justice, for equal treatment, equal opportunities and equal status is continuing. In view of the Greek and Greek Cypriot obsession that Cyprus is an inseparable part of Hellenism and the resultant failure of over 50 years of power sharing talks, I have put forward the need for a separate, sovereign two State settlement. Following my election as President in October 2020, I proposed fresh ideas for the cooperative relationship of two States that coexist side-by-side in Cyprus, and the need for the international community to reaffirm the inherent sovereign equality and equal international status of the Turkish Cypriot Side. Power sharing negotiations that have been held through different processes for more than half-a-century have been exhausted.
2022 has been a historical year of many positive developments for the TRNC.
In July, I conveyed six cooperation proposals to the Greek Cypriot leader via the UN Secretary General in the fields of hydrocarbon resources, electricity interconnection, transition to green energy, cooperation on sharing and developing freshwater resources with the Greek Cypriot Side, clearing the island from all remaining landmines, and tackling irregular migration under a mechanism made up of officials and relevant departments from both Sides. We have still not received a formal response to these constructive, humane, forward-looking proposals.
In 2022, I held a meeting with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres in New York in September on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly and reiterated the constructive position of the Turkish Cypriot Side.
A historical call was made by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of the Republic of Türkiye during his address at the UN General Assembly on 20th September, to the international community to formally recognise the TRNC, and to put an end to the persecution of the Turkish Cypriot people;
Between 5-9 November I visited London and held important meetings with former Ministers and Parliamentarians;
On 11th November, the TRNC became an observer member of the Organisation of Turkic States;
On 1st December, Badara Joof Vice President of The Gambia, visited the TRNC and he extended an invitation to me to visit The Gambia in 2023;
On 19th December, the ruling New Azerbaijan Party of Azerbaijan and Türkiye’s Justice and Development Party officials visited our country and explored ways to move forward with our National Unity Party.
Our efforts to end the injustices faced by Turkish Cypriot people and for the formal recognition of our country will continue.
We have indeed entered a new era for the TRNC.
Whilst commemorating Christmas and the New Year, I call upon all countries and Peoples of the world to hear the plight of the Turkish Cypriot People and to give effect to the call of President Erdoğan, for sustainable peace, stability, justice and fairness. It is time for to open a new page for the island of Cyprus, where the two States on the island coexist in a cooperative relationship. This is a practical, realistic and much less complicated settlement. It is time for Turkish Cypriots to be able to have direct trade and direct travel to and from our country. Our youth should be able to play international sports friendlies at the very least, and to proudly play in important events such as the Olympics under their own identity without the need to play under the flag of another country.
My esteemed citizens and residents,
I want to stress that as the President, I give great importance to maintaining close relations with the expats and foreign residents in the TRNC, attending your events whenever possible. I wish to emphasise my utmost appreciation for the fantastic charity and social responsibility work that you carry out here in the TRNC and beyond.
I also give great importance to the Turkish Cypriots living outside the TRNC in the UK, Türkiye, Australia and as far as the US. I know very well that their hearts beat for their love of our homeland, the TRNC.
As thousands of our expats in our country and foreign residents celebrate Christmas, I wish for the coming year be one of blessing, happiness and joy for all Peoples.
I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and hope that 2023 will be one of good health, prosperity, and peace to all humanity.