Tatar Blasts EU For Coercion on Cyprob

North Cyprus News - President Ersin Tatar
[President Ersin Tatar]
President Ersin Tatar has strongly criticised the European Union’s position on the island, expressing dissatisfaction with a recent declaration made after a leaders’ summit of the bloc, Turkish Daily Sabah reports.

 Tatar accused the EU of adopting an approach characterised by coercion, undue pressure, unfair treatment, and disregard for legal norms.

In an interview with Anadolu Agency (AA) on Wednesday, Tatar evaluated a joint declaration issued at the conclusion of the summit earlier this month. The declaration linked the enhancement of relations with Turkey to the resolution of the Cyprus issue according to United Nations criteria, while also endorsing a proposal by the Greek Cypriot side to have greater influence in this matter. Turkey advocates for the international recognition of the TRNC, which has been largely isolated from the international community despite recognition of the Greek Cypriot entity on the island.

Tatar emphasised the historical presence of Turks on the island since 1571, asserting that no entity has the right to forcibly expel them from Cyprus. He pointed out that Western nations have supported two-state solutions in other regions such as Kosovo, Taiwan, and Palestine, highlighting the impracticality of forcibly unifying two distinct nations with different ethnicities, languages, religions, cultures, and histories in Cyprus.

The president criticised what he described as the UN and EU sanctions against Turkish Cypriots and the imposition of a federation-based system on the island, which he argued would erode the Turkish Cypriot identity.

There are efforts to compel us to accept their ‘solution,’ but we will not yield. We are asserting to the world that the TRNC, with its unique dynamics and the backing of Turkey, can provide a prosperous, independent, free, and dignified future for its people”, Tatar maintained.

He objected to the EU declaration’s demand for Turkish concessions on the Cyprus issue, stating, “I cannot endorse this. The objective of Greece and its allies is to transform Cyprus into another Crete”, referring to an Aegean island of Greece, which unilaterally declared union with Greece in 1908 during Ottoman rule.

They aim to isolate Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean, encircle Anatolia, and reduce the Turkish Cypriot community to a minority in their own homeland”, he added.

Cyprus has remained divided since 1974 when Turkey, as a guarantor power, intervened militarily to prevent the annexation of the island by Greece following a coup. This intervention led to the establishment of the TRNC on November 15, 1983. Although violence has ceased since then, tensions persist, particularly concerning the control of the island’s exclusive economic zone, a significant portion of which Turkey claims following recent natural gas discoveries.

Turkey does not recognise the Greek Cypriot administration as a sovereign state and maintains approximately 35,000 troops in the TRNC.

Efforts to achieve peace on the island have experienced setbacks, including a failed 2017 initiative in Switzerland under the auspices of guarantor countries Turkey, Greece, and the United Kingdom. The Greek Cypriot administration joined the EU in 2004, the same year it rejected a UN plan aimed at resolving the longstanding dispute, with only the Greek Cypriot south reaping the full benefits of EU membership. 

A resolution of the Cyprus issue would mitigate a potential source of conflict in the unstable Middle East and facilitate the exploitation of hydrocarbon reserves in the gas-rich waters of the Eastern Mediterranean, where Turkey is actively exploring for hydrocarbons.

Daily Sabah

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