President Ersin Tatar receives delegation from The Anglo Turkish Association
“The sovereign equality of the Turkish Cypriot People and two States basis is essential for a realistic and sustainable settlement in the island of Cyprus”
President Ersin Tatar received officials and members of the Anglo Turkish Association of Northern Cyprus (ATA) at the Presidency in Lefkoşa today 18th April 2023.
The delegation was headed by ATA Chairman Philip Lloyd and Vice-chairperson Hatice Salih Kerimgil. The President handed members signed copies of the newly published English-language book “The Vision for Two States in Cyprus” which documents his first two years in office. Mr. Lloyd presented a framed ATA logo to the President on behalf of the delegation.
Speaking during the meeting, President Tatar thanked ATA for the visit, adding: “The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. I am very happy for your presence and contributions, as ATA and indeed the expat community, for your social, cultural, and economic contributions in our country.”
Explaining that “the Turkish Cypriot People have always believed in the British system and understanding of equality and justice,” the President stated that “the island of Cyprus enjoys a strong historic connection with the UK”. He said the “sovereign Turkish Cypriot People have existed on the island of Cyprus since 1571 and are one of the equal co-owners of the island”. President Tatar stated that “our inherent rights, which emanates from history and international agreements, are being brushed under the carpet and being ignored, and the UK, as a guarantor power, is not in practice treating Turkish Cypriot People on the basis of equality. This situation is also having a negative impact on our expat community.”
The President said: “The Turkish Cypriot People have lived on the island of Cyprus for hundreds of years, and the British in comparison took control of the island for a relatively short period of time. The UK secured two Sovereign Base Areas, and are trying to tell us that we Turkish Cypriots are not a sovereign people despite our inherent rights and what has been lived in Cyprus. The Turkish Cypriot People have the right to self-determination and are one of the sovereign equal People on this island. We are as sovereign as the Greek Cypriot People. We are today living in freedom under the roof of our own State. It should not be forgotten that there were acts of genocide between 1963 to 1974. Had Türkiye not have exercised her obligation as a Guarantor power and staged the Cyprus Peace Operation in 1974, Turkish Cypriots would not have existed in Cyprus today. The Greek Cypriot side has always had the objective of turning Cyprus into a Hellenic Cyprus, and continues to have the same mentality today.”
Referring to his recent visit to London last month, President Tatar said: “We held important meetings with numerous MP’s, members of the House of Lords, members of the media, explained why, with the full support of Motherland Türkiye, we are putting forward our two State policy that is based on the sovereign equality of the two Peoples. We explained that, as the former Greek Cypriot foreign minister late Nicos Rolandis wrote, the Greek Cypriot Side rejected at least 15 settlement plans and ideas. They last rejected the 2004 UN Comprehensive Settlement [Annan] Plan and again in 2017 in Crans-Montana.”
President Tatar stated that “it is time for the international community to accept the realities in the island of Cyprus” and to “support the basis that reaffirms the sovereign equality and equal international status of the two Sides. . .who can co-exist in a forward-looking cooperative relationship”.
In reference to the inhuman isolation, the President said: “Promises by many international actors in 2004 to end the inhuman isolation of the Turkish Cypriot have still not been honoured, which is in violation of our right to life and right to development. The Turkish Cypriot Side has proven time-and-again their sincere support for a settlement in Cyprus, however, despite this, the isolation is continuing. The UK can take a leading role because she knows the Cyprus issue very well and is a Guarantor power.”
“We were expecting the UK to take a more flexible approach with regards to our lack of equal treatment, following Brexit,” the President said. “We would have expected a more constructive and just approach towards us. There is also the need to look at how we can have direct trade and direct flights between our countries,” he said.
Mr. Lloyd thanked the President for receiving the ATA delegation and stated that they support President Tatar and are very happy to be living in the TRNC. Mr. Lloyd gave information about the work of ATA, stating that the primary objective of the organisation is to bring together people of Turkish, English, and other different backgrounds, and carry out many social and cultural activities.
Source: PRESIDENCY OF THE TURKISH REPUBLIC OF NORTHERN CYPRUS