A solution based on two states living side by side on sovereign equality is a politics that is based on Cyprus’ realities, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Ersin Tatar stated Friday, adding that this idea has the full support of Ankara.
“The politics that we are currently conducting is of high significance. No results were achieved from various initiatives to reestablish a republic based on partnerships or federalism in different periods of Cyprus,” Tatar told Anadolu Agency (AA).
The divided island has seen an on-and-off peace process in recent years, including the failed 2017 Crans-Montana Conference in Switzerland under the auspices of guarantor countries Turkey, Greece and the U.K.
Tatar reiterated that in 2004, the plan of then-United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan for a solution was accepted by the Turkish Cypriots but rejected by the Greek Cypriots in twin referendums.
Saying that at this point the Turkish side’s policy for a two-state solution is clear, Tatar added: “As the TRNC and Turkey we do not want to go back anymore. U.N. authorities similarly have shown respect to this. Everyone will be able to state their own view during the informal 5+1 meeting.”
He said that if an invitation comes, the meeting could take place in New York at the end of February or the beginning of March.
Tatar pointed out that he won the TRNC's recent elections on the promise of a two-state solution, which shows that citizens favor this policy.
Tatar ran as the National Unity Party (UBP) candidate and was the former prime minister. He became the TRNC's fifth president in the October elections.
“If Cyprus’ realities are ignored and an unrealistic approach is imposed on us that says ‘The (European Union) wants it like that, Greece wants it like that, Greek Cypriots are the only recognized country, their statements are more significant,’ then we will not approve anything,” Tatar said.
He stated that Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu will visit the TRNC on Feb. 2, during which the Cyprus issue will be discussed and the Turkish side’s position for the 5+1 meeting will be determined.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced Thursday he intends to convene a U.N.-led informal meeting with both Cypriot sides in early March.
That discussion will be without preconditions to allow the parties to see that there is a change in administration in the TRNC, Guterres said during his first news conference in 2021.
The island of Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when a Greek Cypriot coup was followed by violence against the island’s Turks and Turkey’s intervention as a guarantor power.
After 1974, the island was divided by a 180-kilometer (120-mile) buffer zone patrolled by the U.N., and crossings apart from those for diplomatic purposes were rare. The TRNC, established in 1983, is only recognized by Turkey and faces a long-standing embargo in commerce, transportation and culture. Meanwhile, the Greek Cypriot administration enjoys recognition by the international community as the Republic of Cyprus, established in 1960, and as a member of the EU.