November 30, 2023

TRNC President Ersin Tatar

A fairer world is possible where the strong do not oppress the weak, where children and innocent people are not lost in war, and where all the children of the world smile”

President Ersin Tatar issued a written statement in commemoration of September 1 World Peace Day, wishing for a world that is free of conflict and violence where there is cooperation and respect between different nations and Peoples.

The message reads as follows:

“This year, we are unfortunately again commemorating World Peace Day, which is accepted by the United Nations and celebrated every year in order to encourage the end of conflicts in the international arena and to promote global peace, in the shadow of continuing violence, war and terrorism on a global scale.

I wish for a world that is free from conflict and violence and where there is cooperation and respect between different nations and peoples. Having endured acts of genocide in the recent past, the Turkish Cypriot people have struggled to defend their inherent rights, their identity, culture, and existence on the Island of Cyprus. Today, the Turkish Cypriot People are living under the roof of their own State in freedom.

The Cyprus Peace Operation, which motherland Türkiye started on the morning of July 20, 1974 in accordance with the obligation enshrined in international treaties, put a stop to the decades of persecution, restrictions, abductions, and island-wide attacks carried out under annihilation plans by Greek-Greek Cypriot forces and the EOKA terrorist organisation. It was Motherland Türkiye that saved and liberated Turkish Cypriot People and brought peace to the island of Cyprus as was stated by the then-late Prime Minister of the Republic of Türkiye, Bülent Ecevit, on July 20, 1974, that the Cyprus Peace Operation would bring peace not only to the Turkish Cypriots, but also to the Greek Cypriots.

Our biggest goal for the Island of Cyprus, where peace has prevailed for nearly half a century, is to achieve a formal agreement for sustainable peace and stability for our future generations. I must on this day, however, underline that Turkish Cypriot People continue to be subjected to inhumane and outdated isolation and restrictions, which are a violation of our individual and collective human rights. The Turkish Cypriot People have exactly the same inherent rights in Cyprus as those of the Greek Cypriots and are entitled to the same equal rights, status, and opportunities. It is time that the international community honours promises they made two decades ago, and end the unfair isolation, start direct trade and direct flights, and allow our youth to participate in many prominent international sports tournaments under their own flag, which are all essential for the right of development.

World Peace Day offers us an opportunity to reflect on the need to increase meaningful cooperation on the basis of equality and respect between the two Sides on the island of Cyprus, which will be conducive to an overall settlement of the Cyprus issue. 

New and formal negotiations can only be started on the basis of the sovereign equality and equal international status of the Turkish Cypriot Side – which is our inherent right – first put forward at the informal 5+UN informal meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, in April 2021, with the full support of Motherland Türkiye. This realistic and sustainable basis will establish a cooperative relationship between the two existing States on the Island. Previous negotiations, which were pursued for over half a century, have been exhausted because of the hegemonic mentality of the Greek Cypriot Side which sees Cyprus as a Hellenic Island and the Turkish Cypriot Peoples as a minority, which has been one of the major obstacles that prevented an equality-based partnership settlement that involves sharing power and prosperity.

Our vision that is based on cooperation and respect between the two equal Sides will pave the way to sustainable peace and stability not only in Cyprus but for the region.

It should not be forgotten that humanity has throughout history experienced the destruction of war and has had to face its devastating consequences. However, while these experiences remind us of just how brutal and meaningless war is, they also emphasise how valuable and necessary peace is, because it is peace that enables humanity to reach its highest potential.

Turkish Cypriots are a people who have understood the value and importance of real peace because of the atrocities they have endured. 

We will never forget the sacrifices and the just struggle our people waged in order to live as a free and independent People in peace and security in our own homeland.  

I see it necessary to underline that the utilisation of diplomacy, dialogue, and education are the most powerful instruments and means of peacebuilding across the globe, whilst emphasising that it is possible to reach a much fairer world where the strong do not oppress the weak, where children and innocent people are not lost in wars and conflict, and where all the children of the world smile.”



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