Turkey on Friday said that despite all calls and warnings, the United Nations Security Council extended the mandate of the U.N. Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) without the consent of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) once again, contrary to U.N. rules and principles.
Turkey is standing behind the TRNC and the Foreign Ministry has released a statement expressing that: "We (Turkey) fully support the statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of TRNC concerning the resolution."
This statement was released after the U.N. Security Council approved the extension of the peacekeeping mission on the island.
Reiterating that Turkey supported the TRNC’s condemnation of the U.N. resolution on the extension, the statement said that Ankara will fully back the steps the administration chooses to take in this regard.
"While a legal arrangement has been persistently avoided, however, UNFICYP could continue its activities on the Island within the framework of the genuine approach of the TRNC authorities," said the statement, referring to the peacekeeping force.
"It is disconnected from reality and also contradictory on the side of the U.N. Security Council, on one side calling on the parties on the Island to reach a settlement, and on the other side, trying to impose a settlement model that has been tried and exhausted for more than fifty years, proven ineffective and does not reflect the consent of one side," the statement added.
Turkey also underlined that the U.N. Security Council’s criticism of the TRNC’s steps in regard to Varosha (Maraş) is a "violation of property rights."
"Furthermore, the Council's disregard of the unilateral steps taken by the Greek Cypriot Administration in the Eastern Mediterranean, which increases the tensions and ignores the rights of the Turkish Cypriots, is again an example of a double standard," it noted.
In addition, the TRNC prime minister's office blasted the U.N. in a statement on Thursday as the Security Council extended the international peacekeeping mission on the island for six months.
In the statement, it said the U.N.’s move was a "violation of the U.N.'s own principles and rules” as the international body did not request the consent of the Turkish Cypriots.
"Ignoring the guiding principle of seeking the consent of all parties, which is the fundamental basis of peace operations, by the U.N. itself, deeply discredits the U.N.," it stated, adding that the move brings into question the organization's presence in the country.
On Thursday, the 15-member council unanimously extended the mandate for a peacekeeping force on the island, known as UNFICYP. The force has been on the island since 1964 and its mandate has been extended every six months.
The resolution noted "with regret" a lack of progress between the island's two sides "towards restarting formal negotiations at this time" and further emphasized that "the status quo is unsustainable, that the situation on the ground is not static, and that the lack of an agreement furthers political tensions and deepens the estrangement of both communities."
The resolution added that the Greek Cypriot administration "agreed that in view of the prevailing conditions on the island, it is necessary to keep the UNFICYP beyond Jan. 31 2022."
The Security Council, noting the U.N.'s position that a "just settlement" should be based on "a bicommunal, bizonal federation with political equality," asked U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to submit a report by July 5 "on progress towards reaching a consensus starting point for meaningful results-oriented negotiations leading to a settlement."
Cyprus has been mired in a decadeslong dispute between Greek and Turkish Cypriots, despite a series of diplomatic efforts by the U.N. to achieve a comprehensive settlement.
Ethnic attacks starting in the early 1960s forced Turkish Cypriots to withdraw into enclaves for their safety.
In 1974, a Greek Cypriot coup aiming at Greece's annexation led to Turkey's military intervention as a guarantor power to protect Turkish Cypriots from persecution and violence.
The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was founded 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 Turkey, Greece and the United Kingdom.
The Greek Cypriot administration entered the European Union in 2004, the same year that Greek Cypriots thwarted a U.N. plan to end the decadeslong dispute.