Politics

Turkish Cypriot leader urges int’l community to act to change island's status quo

Equal international status, sovereign equality of Turkish Cypriots must be recognized, says Ersin Tatar

Muhammet İkbal Arslan   | 21.06.2021
Turkish Cypriot leader urges int’l community to act to change island's status quo

LEFKOSA, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus

The president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) urged the international community Sunday to take action to change the status quo in Cyprus to guarantee the rights of the island’s Turkish Cypriots.

“The equal international status and sovereign equality of the Turkish Cypriots must absolutely be recognized for a change in the current status quo,” Ersin Tatar told reporters at Ercan International Airport in Lefkosa following his visit to southern Turkey to attend the Antalya Diplomacy Forum (ADF).

“When you explain the realities of Cyprus, it is certain that the state parties will sympathize with the position of the Turkish Cypriots at the current stage. But sympathy is no longer enough. We expect action,” Tatar said.

Tatar said that during the forum, he had the opportunity to explain to the heads of state and foreign ministers of countries details of the Cyprus issue, the position of Turkish Cypriots and the new policy put forward by the Turkish side at informal talks held in Geneva in April.

Turkish Cypriots are in favor of "the new policy," a two-state solution, on Cyprus as decades of negotiations for a federation failed to resolve the Cyprus issue, Tatar told Anadolu Agency on Saturday on the sidelines of this weekend's ADF in Turkey.

The island of Cyprus has been divided since 1964, when ethnic attacks forced Turkish Cypriots to withdraw into enclaves for their safety. In 1974, a Greek Cypriot coup aiming at Greece's annexation led to Turkey's military intervention as a guarantor power.

The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was founded in 1983.

The Greek Cypriot administration, backed by Greece, became a member of the European Union in 2004, although in a referendum that year, most Greek Cypriots rejected a UN settlement plan which envisaged a reunited Cyprus joining the European Union.

The three-day Antalya Diplomacy Forum, with Anadolu Agency as its global communications partner, hosted 10 heads of state and government, 42 foreign ministers, three former heads of state and government, and more than 50 representatives of international organizations and former government officials, according to the Turkish Foreign Ministry.

Debates of global importance were analyzed in-depth during the forum, including the Balkans, the future of Europe, trans-Atlantic relations, refugees and migrants, and the threat of terrorism.

*Writing by Zehra Nur Duz in Ankara

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