“2022 has been a year of significant achievements and successes for the TRNC that have been realised through solidarity and working together.”
President Ersin Tatar and First Lady Sibel Tatar held a press reception at the Concord Tower hotel in Lefkoşa where a presentation was held on the first two years in office of President Tatar and First Lady Sibel Tatar to the attending press members and journalists.
Addressing the reception, President Tatar stated that 2022 was a year in which significant successes and achievements were realised through solidarity and working together for the TRNC to reach better positions. The President wished for 2023 to be one of goodness and prosperity to the Turkish Cypriot people, TRNC, Motherland Türkiye, the whole Turkic world and to humanity.
The President pointed to the “greatest pain” of 2022 being the loss of life and suffering caused by the Ukraine-Russia war, adding: “All of these events remind us of the suffering lived by the Turkish Cypriot People who endured atrocities and acts of genocide from 1963 to 1974 because of the aspiration of annexing Cyprus to Greece. Had it not been for the Peace Operation of Motherland and Guarantor Türkiye in 1974, there would not have been left a Turkish Cypriot to save. Our policy on sovereign equality and equal international status, which has been endorsed by the Turkish Cypriot People who elected me in 2020 which is also fully supported by Türkiye, was first put forward in Geneva in April 2021.” The President remarked that the existence of two separate sovereign States in Cyprus that are in a cooperative relationship is the way to reaching sustainable peace and stability for the benefit of not only the Turkish Cypriot People and Greek Cypriot People, but also the region.
“Our policy is against returning to pre-1974 conditions and is realistic, practical and the least complicated,” the President said. “Negotiations for an equality-based power sharing settlement have been exhausted and rejected 15 times by the Greek Cypriot Side over many decades due to the hegemonic mentality that prevails in South Cyprus.”
President Tatar stated that one of the “historic turning points” and “greatest success of the new vision for two separate sovereign States in the island of Cyprus” was the historic call made by the Republic of Türkiye President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan during his address at the 77th session of the UN General Assembly on September 20, where he invited the international community to formally recognise the TRNC and to put an end to the inhuman isolation and persecution of Turkish Cypriot People. “President Erdoğan put forward the voice of the Turkish Cypriot People,” the President said, adding: “The two States vision has received full support under the leadership of President Erdoğan of the Republic of Türkiye and has been endorsed and supported by all state organs and institutions of the Republic of Türkiye.”
President Tatar added that following the call by President Erdoğan at the UN General Assembly, the TRNC was shortly thereafter admitted as an observer member to the Organisation of Turkic States under its constitutional name – the first ever in the history of the TRNC.
“There is no turning back from this point”
“With these steps, we are sending a message that there is no turning back from this point with regards to our position of having two separate sovereign States, which is becoming more established and consolidated through these developments,” President Tatar stated. He added that “I am indeed happy to declare to the world that the forward-looking approach we are taking is one that has taken lessons from previous failures and the mentality prevailing in the Greek Cypriot Side. It is my view that a settlement in Cyprus can be reached when the two States “get to know one another and can have a structured cooperative relationship across many different fields”.
President Tatar pointed to the nearing elections in South Cyprus and the manifesto of former Greek Cypriot Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides – who is currently a front runner according to some of the polls. The President said the manifesto of Mr Christodoulides made references to “ending the guarantee of Türkiye, the departure of Turkish forces from the island and abolishing intervention rights of any State” stating: “we shall never forget the arduous efforts of those who protected the rights of Turkish Cypriots which was enshrined in the original 1960 treaties that established the partnership republic” and adding that it has not been easy for the Turkish Cypriot People to reach these days of peace and freedom.
President Tatar added: “Many of our martyrs sacrificed their lives. The Turkish Cypriot People endured acts of genocide. We put forward a great struggle to exist in freedom and resisted all attempts by the Greek-Greek Cypriot duo and EOKA terrorists to annex the island of Cyprus to Greece.”
“Today, we have our own State in the eastern Mediterranean and the name of that state is the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus”.
Referring to his recent two-day contacts in Ankara, President Tatar stated that his meetings were being reported by the media in Türkiye. “And as the public become more informed about matters related to the TRNC, this is having a positive effect on our sectors in the TRNC, including in tourism and higher education through the attendance of more students. This consolidates the ties between the TRNC and the Republic of Türkiye,” he said.
“We are trying to embrace everybody through various projects”
President Tatar underlined that they are trying to embrace everybody and touch the lives of people through various projects carried out under the auspices of the Presidency through unity and solidarity, adding: “We are happy to be conducting these projects with the inclusion of the culture, values and traditions of the Turkish Cypriot People.”
Drawing attention to the need to believe and love in order to carry out all these projects, President Tatar also answered some of the criticisms made against him. President Tatar said: “What I do is take into account these criticisms, digest them and act on them accordingly.”
Noting that First Lady Sibel Tatar has been very proactive at the Presidency for the past two years and is “putting forward an outstanding effort and is working hard,” the President expressed his gratitude to the First Lady for all her efforts.
President Tatar stated that they carried out projects that especially touched families in need, children and disabled people in the country as well as environmental, cultural and social responsibility projects.
“It is our duty to continue our work with this understanding, passion and this enthusiasm,” the President said. “We are at peace, we are happy, our conscience is clear. We work very hard for our people, for the TRNC, which we cherish. . .I wish to thank everybody for attending the reception tonight,” he said.