The Turkish House (Türkevi) in New York City hosted on Monday evening a ceremony to celebrate the 39th anniversary of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus’ (TRNC) foundation.
Every year, the TRNC marks Nov. 15 as the start of its independence from the Greek Cypriot administration in the south. The island has been mired in a decadeslong dispute between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots despite a series of diplomatic efforts by the U.N. to achieve a comprehensive settlement.
In 1974, a Greek Cypriot coup aimed at Greece's annexation led to Türkiye's military intervention as a guarantor power to protect Turkish Cypriots from persecution and violence. As a result, the TRNC was established in 1983.
It has seen an on-and-off peace process in recent years, including a failed 2017 initiative in Switzerland under the auspices of guarantor countries Türkiye, Greece and the U.K.
The Greek Cypriot administration was admitted to the European Union in 2004, the same year that Greek Cypriots single-handedly blocked a U.N. plan to end the longstanding dispute.
“Our sole effort in Cyprus is for our sovereignty to be respected in order to live in peace and safety,” TRNC’s New York Representative Mehmet Dana said as he addressed the event in NYC.
Dana stressed that the willpower of Turkish Cypriots could “no longer be ignored” and expressed his faith that TRNC will “soon take its rightful place in the international community.”
“Despite the unlawful and subhuman isolation to which Turkish Cypriots have been subjected, nearly 2 million tourists are expected to visit TRNC this year, while 100,000 students from 140 countries receive education in the country,” Dana informed.
“A bright future awaits the people of Turkish Cyprus,” Dana maintained.
The event, hosted by the TRNC, was also attended by the Permanent Representative of Türkiye to the U.N. Feridun Sinirlioğlu, Consul General of Türkiye to New York Reyhan Özgür, foreign diplomacy representatives, and influential figures from the TRNC and Turkic nations.