Turkish Cypriot leader ruled out the unification of divided islands


Cyprus update

The hardline leader who broke away from Northern Cyprus will push his government to push Two-State Solution At the UN meeting next month, after half a century of failed efforts to reunify the divided Mediterranean islands, it called for a “reality check.”

Since Ersin Tatar was elected President of the Turkish Cypriot enclave with strong support from Turkey last year, Northern Cyprus has taken an uncompromising stance on possible unification.

In an interview with the British “Financial Times”, the Tatar stated that since the mid-1960s, the two sides of the island have been segregated according to apartheid. Now they are too alienated to be unified. Future negotiations need to recognize his party’s “equality and sovereignty.” .

“Now is the time for the world to recognize the reality that we have two different countries, [and] Any effort to push us into interracial marriages is doomed to fail,” Tatar said. “They are Greeks, they are Christians. We are a different race. We speak Turkish, our religion is Islam, and our home country is Turkey. “

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded its northern part in response to an Athens-inspired coup that aimed to unite the island of Cyprus with Greece.

Decades of disputes are now trapped Regional conflict For the rights of hydrocarbons in the Eastern Mediterranean, Cyprus, Greece, Israel, Egypt and the European Union are competing with Turkey and Northern Cyprus.

Only Turkey recognizes the Tatar government and retains tens of thousands of troops on the island. Other members of the international community regard the Greek Cypriot government, which joined the European Union in 2004, as the sole authority on the island.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan supported partition, but when the Tatars met with Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades in Geneva in April for exploratory talks supported by the United Nations, it Could not get any support.

The Tatar will travel to New York during the UN General Assembly in September, when he is expected to meet Anastasiades again in an attempt to establish enough common ground to restart formal negotiations for the first time since the collapse of the UN mediation negotiations in 2017.

“I’m not saying we will close the door,” Tartar said. “I am here to negotiate a fair solution based on two sovereign nations.”

Last year, when Erdogan sent a Earthquake Research ShipAccompanied by warships, they entered internationally recognized waters belonging to Greece and Cyprus in search of natural gas, threatening military confrontation with Turkey’s NATO partner Greece.

The Tatar stated that he “does not believe” Cyprus’ commitment to share potential natural gas resources with the Turkish Cypriots, and the energy deal with Ankara means that Turkey may continue to explore for natural gas near the Cyprus coastline.This will run the risk of re-igniting disputes, leading to EU sanctions on Turkey In December.

Under the international trade embargo, hundreds of thousands of people living in northern Cyprus are still isolated from the world. There are no direct flights except to and from Turkey.

Tartar rejected an offer, saying that Anastasiades offered in April to open the airport and seaport of Northern Cyprus to international trade and tourists under the control of the European Union and the United Nations in exchange for the return of the ghost town of Varosha. Turkey blocked the former luxury resort in 1974 and left it to decline after the UN Security Council passed a resolution prohibiting resettlement.

The Tatars stated that giving up control of the transportation hub is tantamount to “losing a war when foreigners take away your assets.”

Instead, Erdogan ignored the accusations of the United States and the European Union at the end of last month and announced that the second part of Varosha will be converted from military use to civilian use after opening a small stretch of waterfront last year. The Greek Cypriots accused Erdogan of plundering land in the city; Tatar said that the Greek Cypriot owners are “very welcome” to move back or apply for compensation.

Tartar, a former accountant who was educated at Cambridge University, defended his efforts to establish a close relationship with Erdogan. Critics say that Turkey’s intervention may have affected last year’s elections, but the Tatars believe this accusation is baseless.

The Turkish Cypriots have long relied on Turkey for security, capital and infrastructure investment. Last month, Erdogan promised to build a new presidential building for the Tatars as a “representation of a country”, calling his office “a hut belonging to the British” because it was built in the 1930s. Cyprus is also a protectorate of the United Kingdom.

Tatar said: “It is natural to further integrate with Turkey, because we did not get the friendship and justice that the international community expected.” “Only with the support of Turkey, we will be recognized as a country.”


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