Social pressure should be put on citizens who have not yet had the Covid vaccine, to come forward and do so, President Tatar said, so that the daily case numbers of the coronavirus, currently between 150-200, can be reduced, BRT reported. Speaking at a special interview broadcast by BRT, Tatar added that if no precautions are taken, transmission of the virus will increase even more in the winter months.
The pandemic hospital in Nicosia, constructed with the aid of Turkey, has been operating for nearly one year and is currently 85 percent full, the president said.
All the staff at the hospital are still very busy and are tired, he said.
The main agenda is health rather than the Cyprus issue, the president said.
“Winter is coming, we need to get ahead of this now. Unnecessary crowds should not gather. Mask, distance, hygiene rules must be followed. Nightclubs, discos, bars are environments where the main risk arises”, he said, warning all citizens to take precautions.
President Tatar reiterated that he is not against receiving vaccines from the EU and said that vaccines save lives and that he never hesitates to meet with EU officials, who are his interlocutors, within this framework.
He noted that the EU gives only 5 percent of the amount of vaccine that Turkish Cypriots are entitled to, but Turkey had made up the shortfall.
Referring to the vaccination certificate, President Tatar explained that the problem of integrating into the EU system has been overcome with the help of social media, and that citizens can travel by registering their vaccination certificate and PCR tests.
He added however, that some foreign airline companies continue to cause problems, Tatar stated that they are trying their best to overcome them and that they continue their contacts, and that these problems will gradually be overcome.
Regarding the Greek Cypriot Administration’s cancellation of passports for certain members of government including himself, President Tatar pointed out that the Turkish Cypriots, who are the founding partners of the Republic of Cyprus established in 1960, had the passport for freedom of travel.
Tatar said, “This decision is unlawful, it is racism,” and added, “Our people got this passport for convenience. It is a constitutional right. What the Greek side has done is an act of indifference. It is to take the political issue to the individual dimension. It is our most natural right to make this policy, but it is not right to take away our individual rights to the point of obtaining a passport. I personally have no problem. But this decision is not correct. Because we are the founding partner of the Republic of Cyprus. This is a threat”, he said.
The president said that this is a right until the UN recognizes that the Greek Cypriot Republic is not the only state on the island and recognizes the sovereignty of the Turkish Cypriots.
Tatar stated that they had received signals that the Greek Cypriot administration would take such a step and said, “Our policy on Maraş is the right one“.
Noting that the Republic of Turkey fully supports the Turkish Cypriots in this regard, Tatar said, “We could not keep Maraş closed for another 47 years, because the Greek Cypriot side did not take a step towards our good intentions. Despite what the Foundations Administration has put forward, we do not act against international law. We made this opening in Maraş for the elimination of grievances and the restoration of human rights “, he said.
President Tatar said that he was wondering what they would say about this policy if Southern Cyprus went to the ECtHR.
“Cyprus is not the old Cyprus, the Eastern Mediterranean is no longer the old Eastern Mediterranean. The game has changed and this issue will be resolved with the TRNC and two states. Because opportunities have been missed. Turkish Cypriots have been subjected to great injustice for years. …. Therefore, if a price is to be paid now, they will pay it too”, he said.
Tatar stated that a policy based on cooperation between two separate sovereign states is being followed to solve the Cyprus issue and that the acceptance of sovereignty means the acceptance of the existence of the Turkish Cypriots.
“The important thing is the acknowledgment of the existence of the people. This is the acceptance of our sovereignty”, he said.
Stressing that Turkey does not have a policy of annexation in Cyprus, Tatar said that Turkey’s only goal is to create an independent country where Turkish Cypriots can stand on their own feet.
Finally, President Tatar stated that Turkish Cypriots will never give up on Turkey’s guarantee and security and emphasized that this ensures that there is peace on the island.