President Ersin Tatar and Republic of Türkiye President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan held a joint press conference
“If there is to be a return to the negotiating table, the way to this is the recognition of the TRNC”
President Ersin Tatar and the Republic of Türkiye President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan held a joint press conference following their meeting at the Presidency in Lefkoşa, where they both underlined the national policy of the Turkish Side for a settlement that is based on the sovereign equality and equal international status of two States in Cyprus.
President Erdoğan continued the long-standing Turkish tradition and paid his first visit abroad to the TRNC following his re-election as the President of the Republic of Türkiye last month, to show solidarity and importance given by Türkiye to the TRNC.
President Ersin Tatar stated that the first visit of the President of the Republic of Türkiye, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to the TRNC is “very meaningful” and of “great importance and significant”, because of the message this communicates to the rest of the world.
Stating that the “Turkish Cypriot People have in recent history suffered immensely in Cyprus with acts of genocide committed against them and their struggle to coexist in peace as sovereign equals,” President Tatar added that “it was through the Cyprus Peace Operation in 1974 by guarantor Türkiye that brought real peace to the island and stopped the bloodshed and the annexation of Cyprus with Greece”.
“The visit of President Erdoğan is a response to those who are trying to incite discord and attempting to divide the TRNC from within,” he added.
President Tatar stated that he is “explaining to the international community, with the support of Motherland Türkiye, the new policy and vision for a settlement that is based on sovereign equality and equal international status”.
Referring to the “Blue Homeland” doctrine and the eastern Mediterranean, President Tatar said: “The island of Cyprus is located in a region of significant geostrategic importance. The Blue Homeland is in safe hands, and the Turkish Cypriot People have always shared the same policy and are in full harmony with Motherland Türkiye. The sacred bonds between us have become even more stronger.”
President Erdoğan stated at the press conference that the support of Motherland Türkiye to the TRNC will be continued, and that the electricity issue of the TRNC will be resolved with the supply of power via an undersea interconnector electricity cable to the island.
Stating that they have held discussions on the Cyprus issue and the eastern Mediterranean, President Erdoğan asserted that the Turkish Side has always put forward a constructive and result oriented approach.
“The Turkish Cypriots have never been a minority, and this will never be permitted,” President Erdoğan stated. “The Turkish Cypriot People have inherent rights in Cyprus. We advise those who are ignoring the realities to face the facts and to stop their obsession that the Greek Cypriots are the sole rulers of the island. If there is to be a return to the negotiating table, the way to this is the recognition of the TRNC”.
Emphasising that they completed the first and second rounds of the Presidential election in Türkiye last month “in a festive atmosphere worthy of Turkish democracy”, President Erdoğan added: “This election, which attracted a very high turnout of 86 per cent, was a celebration of our democracy which I can call an exception in the world, and it was realised in a way that befits Türkiye and the Turkish nation.”
President Erdoğan added that he has been elected to serve as the President of the country for five more years, and said he is paying his first visit abroad to the TRNC in continuation of the long-standing tradition of Türkiye. He said he will continue on from the TRNC to Azerbaijan, which is also the tradition.
President Erdoğan thanked President Tatar, First Lady Sibel Tatar, Parliamentary Speaker Zorlu Töre, and Prime Minister Ünal Üstel for participating in his Presidential Oath Taking ceremony that was held in Ankara on June 3, and expressed his gratitude to TRNC authorities for the hospitality being shown to him and his delegation in the TRNC.
“God willing, the problem of power cuts in Northern Cyprus will be eliminated”
President Tatar stated that he had taken up numerous issues with President Erdoğan in their meeting today, which also included the supply of power via an undersea interconnector cable running from Türkiye to the TRNC, that will supply sustainable and clean energy. “This will be another significant step for the TRNC,” President Tatar said.
President Erdoğan stated that “God willing, the problem of power cuts in Northern Cyprus will be eliminated”. President Erdoğan added that he had also discussed the Cyprus issue and the eastern Mediterranean with President Tatar, adding that “the Turkish Side have always put forward a constructive and results oriented approach”.
“Turkish Cypriots have never been a minority”
Pointing out that the Turkish Cypriot People have inherent rights as an indigenous and indispensable People of the island, President Erdoğan continued: “The Turkish Cypriot People are making clear and justified demands. The Turkish Cypriot People have never been a minority, and this will never be permitted. Those who are ignoring these realities are continuing a dream that they are the sole rulers of the island. I especially advise these groups to put aside their obsessions and face the realities of the island. Despite the arduous efforts of the Turkish Cypriots for more than half-a-century, a settlement has not been reached because of the uncompromising and maximalist approaches of the Greek Cypriot side. Nobody can afford to lose another 50 years.”
President Erdoğan added: “The reaffirmation of the sovereign equality and equal international status of the Turkish Cypriot People, which is their inherent right, is a sine qua non for us. If there is going to be a return to the negotiating table, the way to this is the recognition of the TRNC. This is essentially the realistic and result oriented vision that President Tatar put forward at the last informal meeting in Geneva, which we also support.”
“We will continue to resolutely defend the rights and interests of Türkiye and the TRNC”
President Erdoğan said they had discussed bilateral relations, the eastern Mediterranean and Cyprus issue with President Tatar, adding: “We will continue to resolutely defend the rights and interests of Türkiye and the TRNC. I take this opportunity to remind you that the concrete proposals presented by the Turkish Cypriot Side for the equitable sharing of hydrocarbon resources in and around the Island of Cyprus are still on the table.”
“Unfortunately, my proposal to organise a regional conference on issues concerning the eastern Mediterranean did not find a response. Our visionary steps have been left unanswered,” President Erdoğan said. “Despite this, however, we have always prioritised dialogue as a guarantor country.”
President Erdoğan continued: “Those who engage in meaningless armament activities by attempting to upset the balances on the island and in the region should be mindful of the risks these attempts will lead to. Peace and security of our brothers on the island also means our very own peace and security as Türkiye. As the Motherland, we stand ready to assist and make contributions to the TRNC with all our means and capabilities. Whilst we continue to support sincere settlement efforts, we shall also continue our support to the TRNC. We will ensure that citizens in the TRNC have the same access to public health services on equal terms as our citizens in Türkiye.”
The Turkish President stated that “construction of 1,192 social housing units will be started soon in the Derinya region”, adding that “the construction and laying of the interconnection electricity cable is among our priorities”.
He said the Republic of Türkiye has built main roads covering a distance of 630km at different regions of the TRNC, and said there are five separate road construction projects that are being continued, covering a distance of 62km.
Referring to the fresh water being transported via the 80km undersea pipeline from Türkiye to the TRNC at a rate of 75 million m3 per annum, President Erdoğan said that “we will soon make this water available to producers for agricultural irrigation in a short time”. He added that a tender will soon be launched for the construction of a new 500-bed capacity State hospital in Lefkoşa.
President Erdoğan stated that the “coordination of the work on this issue will be carried out by the Vice President of the Republic of Türkiye, Cevdet Yılmaz”.
Thanking the Turkish Cypriots and especially President Tatar for their hospitality, President Erdoğan said that Mr. Yılmaz will again be visiting the TRNC to oversee the completion of the new terminal building of Ercan airport. “And I plan to be landing into Ercan airport and to inaugurate the new terminal building on July 20,” President Erdoğan said, in reference to the anniversary of the Cyprus Peace Operation that was staged on July 20, 1974.
“There is no way out but to have peace in these seas”
President Erdoğan also answered a question from members of the media at the end of the press conference. Responding to the question of whether Türkiye has a roadmap for the solution of the problems in the Aegean and whether there will be a precondition for the country to sit at a table to resolve the dispute in the Aegean between Ankara and Athens, President Erdoğan stated that “the roadmap of Türkiye on the matter is clear, and this roadmap is indexed on peace. . . there is no alternative but peace in these seas”. He added that “if there are people who wish to place an obstacle in front of peace, then we will have to implement different projects. However, we do not want such obstacles to be placed and we want the world to know the Aegean as being a sea of peace.”