President Ersin Tatar held a meeting with the British Residents Society delegation.
“The TRNC based expat community are fully supportive of the Turkish Cypriot cause in the search for justice, fairness and equal treatment”.
President Ersin Tatar has paid tribute to the TRNC based expat community during a meeting he held at the Presidency on Monday 4th September 2023 with a delegation from the British Residents Society (BRS).
The delegation was headed by BRS Chairman Julian Mawdesley and in attendance also was former UK Parliamentarian and BRS chairperson, Stephen Day.
President Tatar stated: “The TRNC-based expat community are fully supportive of the Turkish Cypriot cause in the search for justice, fairness and equal treatment. I very much value the British presence on the island. We have a common past and history. There is a significant number of expats who live in our beautiful country, who care for the well-being of the TRNC, and make cultural, economic and charity-based contributions to society. I wish to thank our expat community, which as you know I value very much.
There are also hundreds of thousands of Turkish Cypriots living in the UK and more specifically in London, whose connection to our country is very important.
The UK is also a guarantor power and she knows very well the history, the events that took place and what was lived in the recent past on the island. They ought to know the injustices and persecution faced by Turkish Cypriot People, the struggle of the Turkish Cypriot People to defend their inherent sovereignty rights, and that our people should have the same international status, same rights and same opportunities as those of the Greek Cypriot Side.”
President Tatar stated that the Greek Cypriot hegemonic mentality and obsession of seeing Cyprus as a Hellenic island is the key obstacle to reaching an equality-based federal settlement. “The Greek Cypriot Side have rejected at least 15 settlement plans and ideas, as written by former Greek Cypriot Foreign Minister Nicos Rolandis,” President Tatar said. “The most remembered rejection was the UN Comprehensive Settlement [Annan] Plan of the Greek Cypriot Side, in the separately held simultaneous referenda in April 2004, and lastly in Crans-Montana in July 2017. Federal based negotiations have been exhausted. We have gone down the same road on this basis for more than half-a-century. This is why we are saying there is a need for a two State settlement, based on the sovereign equality and equal international status of the two existing States, which will be in a cooperative relationship, existing as two friendly neighbours, each governing its own affairs in sustainable peace and stability.”
President Tatar referred to the statement of former late British Prime Minister Harold MacMillian, who had stated in 1958 that the “Turkish Cypriots, no less than Greek Cypriots, shall in the special circumstances of Cyprus be given the freedom to decide themselves their future status. . .”
President Tatar stated that Mr MacMillian had in the same speech declared that the Turkish Cypriot People had the right of self-determination and that one of the settlement options included partition.
President Tatar added that former UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, who was a supporter of a federal-based settlement when he was serving in office during the Annan Plan period in 2004, is today publicly supporting a realistic and sustainable two State settlement in Cyprus.
President Tatar said that he is aware of the concerns with regards to residency and other issues faced by foreign nationals residing in the TRNC, adding: “You have been adding to our culture and economy. Your support is very valuable. I know that the hearts of a majority of the British people residing in the TRNC is with the Turkish Cypriot People and for our just cause, as we continue with our plight for justice, fairness and equal treatment. In this political battle, to be able to offer our people a promising future, we need to have close friends and allies to promote the TRNC so that we have thriving economy, in this part of the eastern Mediterranean.”
President Tatar thanked the BRS for the lobbying activities which is highlighting the injustice faced by the Turkish Cypriot People and all residents who continue to face inhumane isolation and restrictions preventing direct trade and direct flights.
“Your constant support in London, including ex-members of Parliament, ex colonels, ex judges, former bureaucrats etc are well connected with those in office in the UK. The TRNC is a fully functioning State, has the rule of law and international principles. “All we want is to survive on the island as Turkish Cypriots which is our inherent right, because whether they recognise the realities of the island or not, there are two Peoples, two democracies and two States on the island,” President Tatar stated. “The Turkish Cypriot People have been effectively governing themselves since 1963, after our People were expulsed from the state apparatus by force of arms by Greek-Greek Cypriot forces and EOKA terrorist organisation – which had also fought against the British prior to 1960 under the aspiration of uniting Cyprus to Greece.”
President Tatar stated that the Turkish Cypriot People, who were saved from annihilation by Türkiye in July 1974, today live in freedom under the roof of their own State, with a prospering tourism and higher education sector — where students from more than 140 countries study at TRNC-based universities. He said the newly inaugurated terminal building of Ercan Airport is also a significant development for the TRNC.
President Tatar stated that he is happy to welcome former MP Stephen Day to the TRNC and the BRS delegation who are true friends of the TRNC and the Turkish Cypriot People.