December 4, 2023

Tatar Discusses Cyprus Issue With Political Leaders

President Ersin Tatar held a meeting with the leaders and representatives of political parties.

President Ersin Tatar has held a meeting with the leaders and representatives of political parties at the Presidency, prior to his visit to New York for the 78th session of the UN General Assembly.

The meeting was attended by Prime Minister and National Unity Party (UBP) leader Ünal Üstel, main opposition Republican Turkish Party (CTP) leader Tufan Erhürman, Minister of Tourism, Culture, Youth and Environment and Democrat Party (DP) leader Fikri Ataoğlu,  Minister of Public Works and Transportation and leader of the Rebirth Party (YDP) Erhan Arıklı and their respective representatives.

In his press conference following the meeting, President Tatar stated that he wanted to hold consultations with political parties prior to his departure for New York this coming Sunday morning.  President Tatar stated that he wanted to listen to the views of political parties and said this was the perfect opportunity to evaluate the Cyprus issue.  “We discussed different issues,” President Tatar said. “It is normal in democracies for there to be differing views. However, we all have one objective, which is to protect the inherent rights and interests of the Turkish Cypriot People and to explain our just cause.”  Stating that “new and formal negotiations could be started when the sovereign equality and equal international status of the Turkish Cypriot Side is accepted and reaffirmed,” President Tatar said: “This was the mandate given to me by the People when they elected me as President.  A settlement based on two States is realistic and provides a sustainable basis that is fully supported by Motherland Türkiye. This has been our policy and vision, and one that we have been conveying to the international community.”

President Tatar stated that federal-based negotiations have been exhausted. “We sincerely want to find a common ground and a way forward,” President Tatar said, adding: “We want a settlement to be sustainable and we are taking into account the realities of the island as well as the hegemonic mentality in South Cyprus which has obstructed all equality-based federal settlements for more than half a century.  After everything that has happened in Cyprus, we are saying that our new policy is the right policy. And this policy shall be continued.”  Stating that they are against the appointment of a special envoy until a common ground is found, President Tatar stressed that he is “against attempts that could open the door back to federal based negotiations”.    President Tatar said that he is in “favour of dialogue,” adding it is “out of the question to take any step back from the two State policy, which is about peaceful coexistence between two neighbourly States, that are in a cooperative relationship”.

Stating that he had conveyed cooperation proposals to the Greek Cypriot leadership, the President explained: “Our cooperation proposals provide a fresh new way forward in Cyprus, establishing a joint committee on natural resources, sharing the water being transported via an 80km undersea pipeline from Türkiye to the TRNC, solar energy, electricity interconnection system, irregular migration and clearing the island from land-mines. . .we have also made other proposals such as cooperation on earthquake preparedness.”  President Tatar stated that there has been an initiative taken to address the traffic congestion at the Metehan crossing point, which is due to the single lane usage of the road at the Greek Cypriot Side.

President Tatar said that there has been almost 50 years of peace on the Island of Cyprus – which came about due to the Cyprus Peace Operation by Türkiye, who was obliged to act as a Guarantor Power following the coup d’état by the Greek Junta and the declaration of the ‘Hellenic Republic of Cyprus’ in July 1974.

President Tatar stated that he will hold numerous meetings in New York including with the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.  “We will, in our meetings, explain the just cause of the Turkish Cypriot People and the great injustices we are facing. Our State may not be formally recognised, however, we have a developing, growing State despite the inhumane isolation.   This is the reality.  This reality cannot be ignored, and we will not be dragged back to a negotiating table that ignores this reality.”  President Tatar added that the TRNC is becoming more acknowledged internationally, and has become an observer member of the Organisation of Turkic States. 

President Tatar stated that he will also have other meetings during his visit to New York, including with officials of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the Secretary-General of the Organisation of Turkic States, and officials of the Republic of Türkiye, between September 17 to 24.


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