The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) will never give up Turkey’s position as a guarantor country, President Ersin Tatar said Sunday.
Tatar’s remarks came in response to Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades’ statement accusing Turkey of having an uncompromisable stance.
In a written statement, the Turkish Cypriot president said Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration have been trying to get rid of Turkey’s status as a guarantor for the TRNC since its foundation.
“The Greek side has been requesting to remove Turkey’s status as a guarantor nation and remove Turkish troops from Cyprus. This is an impossible dream,” Tatar said, adding that the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey are completely against this.
He continued by saying that Anastasiades’ claim that Turkey never wanted guarantors to be removed from Cyprus attempts to conceal the Greek Cypriot administration’s irreconcilable stance and throw the book at Turkey and Turkish Cypriots for lack of solution to the problems on the island.
Tatar also said Anastasiades’ attempt to depict Turkey’s determination to stay as a guarantor for TRNC, which is rooted in international agreements, as a new phenomenon is a futile effort.
While Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration support a federation on Cyprus, Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) insist on a two-state solution that reflects the realities on the island.
The island of Cyprus has been mired in a decadeslong struggle between the Turkish and Greek Cypriots, despite a series of diplomatic efforts by the United Nations to achieve a comprehensive settlement.
The island has been divided since 1964 when ethnic attacks forced the 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. The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was founded in 1983.
The Greek Cypriot administration, backed by Greece, became a member of the European Union in 2004, despite most Greek Cypriots rejecting a U.N. settlement plan in a referendum that year, which had envisaged a reunited Cyprus joining the EU.