Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan paid his first official visits to Azerbaijan and the Republic of Northern Cyprus yesterday.
Erdoğan who arrived in the TRNC at around 7pm on Tuesday was greeted with an official ceremony at Ercan Airport.
After the reciting of the national anthem Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and President Mustafa Akıncı greeted the ceremonial units.
The speaker of the Parliament Teberrüken Uluçay, Prime Minister Tufan Erhürman, Turkish Ambassador to Lefkoşa Derya Kanbay, the Commander of Security Forcers Brigadier General Tevfik Algan, Deputy Prime Minister Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay, Finance Minister Serdar Denktaş and the Minister for National Education and Culture Cemal Özyiğit greeted Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
President Mustafa Akıncı and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan then held a tete a tete meeting. After which they met with Prime Minister Tufan Erhürman, Deputy Prime Minister Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay, Minister for National Education and Culture Cemal Özyiğit and Finance Minister Serdar Denktaş alongside presidential officials made up the delegation from the TRNC.
After the meetings were completed President Mustafa Akıncı and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan held a joint press conference.
Speaking first President Mustafa Akıncı said he was very honoured to be able to host the Turkish President in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
Noting that a new era and a beginning was taking place in Turkey President Akıncı said “first and foremost I hope this new beginning is best for Turkey and I hope that every sector will develop with the changes”.
In his speech President Akıncı also expressed his deepest condolences to the families of those who lost their loved ones during the Tekirdağ train crash in Turkey.
Continuing his speech he praised the TRNC’s “sincere relations” with Turkey.
“The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus places great importance on its cooperation with Turkey. It is clear that Turkish Cypriots – unfairly isolated from the world – need Turkey’s support for the development of our country in every area,” he said.
Ruling out “open-ended negotiations” in the Cyprus peace talks, Akıncı said “From now on, the Turkish Cypriots will not be a part of an open-ended negotiation process.”
Touching on the hydrocarbon resources around the island, the President called on the Greek Cypriots to adopt a constructive stance on this issue.
He said that so far, the Greek Cypriot side has displayed the opposite reaction to this and created more tensions in the region.
“As the TRNC and with the support of Turkey, it is not possible for us to give up on our rights in the Eastern Mediterranean”, said Akıncı.
Noting that the UN Secretary-General had sent an official to test the waters in Cyprus, President Akıncı said that the Turkish Cypriot side had clarified its stance that it would not take part in open- ended talks.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for his part also voiced his pleasure at visiting the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and reiterated that Turkey has always supported and will continue to support the Turkish Cypriot people.
He also revealed his aims for the TRNC in the near future during his speech.
“In the period ahead it is our aim to double the TRNC’s national income per capita by turning it into a centre of attraction in the Eastern Mediterranean”, said Erdoğan.
“Cyprus is our national cause. Our goal is to find a just and lasting solution in Cyprus,” he said and added that in the past 50 years all efforts had been exerted so that a solution can be found to the Cyprus problem but that last year, the Cyprus conference had been left inconclusive.
“The reason for this is that the Greek Cypriot side sees itself as the sole proprietor of the island and it is not up to sharing political power with the Turkish Cypriot side in order to create a partnership based on equality”, said the Turkish President.
He said that Turkey will never condone Turkish Cypriots becoming victims of a stalemate and added that they will never allow the Turkish Cypriots to become minorities in a Greek Cypriot state.
Pointing to the importance of unity and solidarity, Erdoğan said that the future of the TRNC in particular, depended on this.
He also said that the morale and the motivation to be given to the Turkish Cypriots was also very important and reiterated Turkey’s perpetual support for the Turkish Cypriot people.
He concluded his speech by expressing his condolences to the families who lost loved ones in the Tekirdağ train crash.
Turkey officially switched to a new presidential system of government after Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Monday was sworn in as the Republic of Turkey’s first president under its new government system.