World, Latest on coronavirus outbreak

Turkish Cypriots get only 6% Europe vaccines: President

Ersin Tatar says Greek Cypriots blocking share; should have received ‘at least 25%’ of European vaccines sent to Cyprus

Ovunc Kutlu   | 20.04.2021
Turkish Cypriots get only 6% Europe vaccines: President

ANKARA

President Ersin Tatar of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) said on Tuesday that Turkish Cypriots have received just 6% of coronavirus vaccines from Europe.

"Greek Cypriots are blocking our share. They should have given us at least 25% of all the vaccines sent to Cyprus. Up to now, we have only 6%," he said at a Turkish Heritage Organization's virtual event.

Tatar noted that Turkey has provided TRNC with 140,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines but Turkish Cypriots received only 20,000 doses from Europe.

The TRNC's economy, which mostly depends on tourism, has been hit hard because of the pandemic and lockdowns. Tatar said he hopes the tourism sector will re-open in June or July and noted the two-state solution on the island.

"Since 1974, we are trying to find a solution for many years with hard work. But, all is futile with no results," he said.

"Greek Cypriots have the upper hand, because they are recognized by the United Nations. They have no basic incentive to find a solution, to share the resources of the island or the power with Turkish Cypriots," he said.

Tatar underlined that there is now a new story, describing it as "two equal sovereign states, living side by side and recognizing each other. If Greek Cypriots recognizes the Turkish Cypriot state, we can basically find a solution forward, collaborate and cooperate. This would be a win-win situation for all parties."

"Turkey fully supports our position that a new solution should be based on two states," he emphasized.

The president pointed to recent developments in the eastern Mediterranean about hydrocarbon and energy exploration activities, and other strategic interests such as airspace.

"We have a very important, rich, promising and big eastern Mediterranean region, and Cyprus is in the middle of it. Suez Canal is only a few hundred miles away," he said.

Tatar emphasized that neighbors of TRNC should recognize the fact that Turkish Cypriots have their own state.

"Turkish Cypriots have roots on the island going back to 1571. We are on this island for more than 400 years," he said. "If we are going to have a fair, lasting, sustainable solution, the balance of Turkey and Greece should also be established," he said.

Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.