Turkey

Turkish Cyprus celebrates 35th foundation anniversary

Greek Cypriot ‘intransigence’ responsible for lack of resolution, says Turkish vice president

Ahmet Salih Alacacı   | 15.11.2018
Turkish Cyprus celebrates 35th foundation anniversary

Ankara

LEFKOSA

The 35th anniversary of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) is being celebrated on Thursday. 

Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay attended a ceremony alongside Turkish Cypriot President Mustafa Akinci, Prime Minister Tufan Erhurman and Turkish Cypriot Parliament Speaker Teberruken Ulucay.  

The ceremony was held in front of the Ataturk monument in the capital Lefkosa, where a minute of silence was observed, which was followed by the Turkish national anthem.  

Speaking at the event, Oktay said the reason for the lack of resolution on the island was the "irreconcilable attitude" of the Greek side.  

"The state you [Turkish Cypriots] have founded is one of the equal two founding parts of the island. The efforts by the Greek Cypriot side to dilute this truth have not been permitted until today, and will not be henceforth," he said. 

Since 1968, the Greek side has continually rejected steps taken during international negotiations and have put forward impossible preconditions.  

The island has been divided since 1974 when a Greek Cypriot coup was followed by violence against the island's Turks and Ankara's intervention as a guarantor power. 

The TRNC was established on 15 Nov. 1983 to prevent the eastern Mediterranean island’s annexation by Greece and to protect its Turkish population. 

The “Annan Plan”, put forward by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan was put to a referendum on both sides of the island by then-leaders Rauf Denktas and Tasos Papadopoulos.  

While the plan was rejected by more than 70 percent of the Greek side, 60 percent of the island’s Turks approved it despite the many hardships it would entail.  

Despite the failure of the plan, the EU admitted the Greek side with full membership on the day following the ballot, totally ignoring the existence of the other half of the island.  

Numerous negotiations opened from 2005 to 2016 would also fail, with talks falling out in 2013 due to the Greek Cypriot government’s unilateral declaration of an exclusive economic zone in the eastern Mediterranean and initiation of drilling activities in search of hydrocarbons in the region.

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