Turkey’s perspective remains the same on the Cyprus issue as it was 45 years ago, Turkish National Defense Minister said on Saturday.
Hulusi Akar arrived in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) to inspect the troops and to hold a series of talks with TRNC officials accompanied by Turkey's Chief of General Staff and chiefs of the army, navy and air force.
Akar stressed that Turkey will not tolerate injustice in the island and said that there is no change in the position, stance and understanding of Turkish Armed Forces between 1974-2019.
“We are in favor of peace and good neighborhood in the Aegean, Eastern Mediterranean and Cyprus. We are sincere and we stand behind our words,” said Akar.
“When we say ‘peace’ they perceive our statement as weakness. When we say ‘we will get what is our right when necessary’ they perceive it as a threat,” Akar said adding Turkey’s neighbors need to gather their minds and look at the situation objectively.
Akar also said that they expect Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration to act in accordance with international law and good neighborly relations.
“We expect from the newly established government in Greece to approach the events more objectively, to take lessons from the past,” Akar said.
“To date, we have fulfilled our responsibilities in scope of guarantee and alliance agreements and we are determined to do so. To continue this, the existence of the Turkish Armed Forces on the island is a must, and everyone should know that,” Akar stated.
In 1974, following a coup aiming at Cyprus’s annexation by Greece, Ankara had to intervene as a guarantor power. In 1983, the TRNC was founded.
The decades since have seen several attempts to resolve the Cyprus dispute, all ending in failure. The latest one, held with the participation of the guarantor countries -- Turkey, Greece, and the U.K. -- came to an end without any progress in 2017 in Switzerland.