Northern Cyprus slams Greek Cypriot leader's UN speech as 'disconnected from history, shallow, insincere'

Ersin Tatar says Greek Cypriot leader's statements are not in line with island's realities but instead serve as political tool

Esra Tekin  | 21.09.2023 - Update : 21.09.2023
Northern Cyprus slams Greek Cypriot leader's UN speech as 'disconnected from history, shallow, insincere'


The UN speech this week by the Greek Cypriot administration leader was “disconnected from the island's history and present realities, shallow, and insincere,” the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus said on Thursday.

In his speech to the UN General Assembly in New York, “the Greek Cypriot leader repeated the claim that there is an issue of ‘occupation and invasion’ on Cyprus and went so far as to assert that he spoke on behalf of all ‘communities’ on Cyprus, hiding behind the lie that he represents the entire island,” said a TRNC Foreign Ministry statement, saying that Nikos Christodoulides’ speech crossed the line.

The sole invasion on the island occurred when the partnership state was forcibly taken over by the Greek Cypriot side in 1963, it added.

“Christodoulides, who attempts to portray the Greek Cypriot people as the ‘victims’ of the Cyprus problem they themselves created, continues their years-long disinformation campaign by distorting historical facts,” the statement said.

Under no circumstances can the Greek Cypriot administration represent the Turkish Cypriot people, as the exclusive representative of the Turkish Cypriot population is the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, established through their own free will, said the ministry.

The statement called Christodoulides’ call to initiate negotiations based on a federation model a “glaring example of hypocrisy.”

Ersin Tatar, the TRNC president, also criticized Christodoulides’ speech, saying: “It overlooks the hardships endured and migrations experienced by the Turkish Cypriots prior to 1974. Given these circumstances, I have doubts about his sincerity.”

Tatar, calling the Greek Cypriot leader’s statements "fantasy," said such an understanding would undermine the legitimate rights and interests of the Turkish Cypriot people.

Tatar also said that Christodoulides’ statements are not in line with sincerity but rather serve as a political tool.

If relations between the two states on the island “are to be conducted within the framework of respect, the reality of the TRNC must be acknowledged, and for a sustainable agreement on Cyprus, cooperation between the two states is an absolute necessity,” he added.

In his General Assembly speech, Christodoulides said: "There is no other basis for the solution of the Cyprus problem apart from the United Nations Security Council resolutions, and there never will be."

Divided island

Cyprus has been mired in a decades-long dispute between Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots, despite a series of diplomatic efforts by the UN to achieve a comprehensive settlement.

Ethnic attacks starting in the early 1960s forced Turkish Cypriots to withdraw into enclaves for their safety.

In 1974, a Greek Cypriot coup aimed at Greece's annexation of the island led to Türkiye's military intervention as a guarantor power to protect Turkish Cypriots from persecution and violence. As a result, the TRNC was founded in 1983.

It has seen an on-and-off peace process, including a failed 2017 initiative in Switzerland under the auspices of guarantor countries Türkiye, Greece, and the UK.

The Greek Cypriot administration entered the EU in 2004, the same year that Greek Cypriots thwarted a UN plan to end the longstanding dispute.

Türkiye fully supports a two-state solution on the island of Cyprus based on sovereign equality and equal international status.​​​​​​​

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