The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) has been denied its rights and faced isolation for many years, the deputy chairperson of Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and chairperson of the Council of Elders of the Organization of Turkic States, Binali Yıldırım, said Wednesday.
"The legitimate rights of the people of Northern Cyprus have, unfortunately, been usurped by not being recognized," Yıldırım said during the 12th meeting of the Council of Elders in Istanbul.
Yıldırım noted that Turkey and the TRNC have been "fighting shoulder to shoulder" for years to put an end to the injustice, adding that the Organization of Turkic States makes an effort to include the TRNC in its activities.
Following the meeting of the Council of Elders, Yıldırım emphasized that the effectiveness of the growing cooperation and coordination between member countries can be improved and there are opportunities to discuss joint projects.
"We discussed many issues, from political issues to the economy, from culture-education issues to tourism," he said.
The decisions made at the meeting will be submitted to the Council of Heads of State, he added.
The meeting was attended by the organization's Secretary-General Baghdad Amreyev, Hasan Hasanov of Azerbaijan, İkram Adyrbek of Kazakhstan, Medetkhan Sehrimkulov of Kyrgyzstan and Bakhtiyor Sayfullayev of Uzbekistan.
The Organization of Turkic States consists of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey and Uzbekistan as member countries and Hungary and Turkmenistan as observer states.