Minister of Foreign Affairs Tahsin Ertuğruloğlu gave a briefing to foreign journalists who are in the TRNC to attend celebrations for the 34th anniversary of the Establishment of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). The Minister also met with the foreign parliamentarians at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Ertuğruloğlu gave detailed information on the history of the Cyprus issue to the foreign journalists and parliamentarians who were present and stressed that the TRNC is continuing to develop and is taking steps towards an international future, despite the unjustified embargoes imposed on it.
Ertuğruloğlu thanked all participants who are attending the celebrations for being present to support the Turkish Cypriots in celebrating the special day.
During the briefing, which was held at the Uğur Umar Conference Hall of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ertuğruloğlu gave detailed information to the foreign journalists about the Cyprus issue. He said: “Despite all peaceful attempts of the Turkish Cypriot people, Greek Cypriots did not make any concessions during the 50-year-long negotiation process, and never stopped perceiving Cyprus as a ‘Hellenic’ island.”Stressing that the international community ignores the realities in Cyprus, Ertuğruloğlu said that Cyprus was not a Hellenic island and that Turkish Cypriots were equal partners on the island.
The Minister pointed out that the 50-year long Cyprus negotiations that were carried out under the framework of the UN Good Offices Mission and ended with failure in Crans Montana, have stolen 50 years from the Turkish Cypriot people. Ertuğruloğlu added that two separate states exist in Cyprus, and even though this is known to international community, it is not acknowledged due to political reasons.
The Minister explained that the 34th anniversary of the TRNC’s establishment is being celebrated, with the support of the TRNC’s Motherland Turkey, and that the TRNC is continuing to develop and increase its visibility in the international arena. He said, “We must thoroughly examine and pronounce the truth objectively to the international community. The UN and EU ignore the realities in Cyprus; and the Republic of Cyprus, which only represents Greek Cypriots, has become a member of the UN unilaterally. The international community particularly the UN, EU, the USA and the UK, are biased. Only the guarantor country, Turkey, is on Turkish Cypriots’ side. Turkish Cypriot people have been facing unfair embargoes for years. The Republic of Cyprus is not a Greek Cypriot state – it is a partnership state, from which the Turkish Cypriots were excluded by force.
The Cyprus problem, which started before 1963, is being represented by the Greek Cypriot side as having started in 1974. 1974 was not the beginning of the Cyprus problem, but a result of the Cyprus problem.
The Turkish Cypriot people were trying to reach a solution with good will at the negotiation table, where they were imprisoned for 50 years, but as a result of the attitude of the Greek Cypriot side and the international community, a solution could not be reached in Cyprus. The Greek Cypriots do not want to share equality with the Turkish Cypriots, nor do they want to share the advantages of the Republic. How much longer will we negotiate in this way? The Greek Cypriots want the negotiations to continue as open ended, and they do not want the Turkish Cypriots to determine their own way forward. This was seen in Crans Montana. The only aim of the Greek Cypriots is to achieve zero troops and zero guarantees. Turkish Cypriot people do not trust any guarantee other than that of Turkey. The Greek Cypriot side is aware of this fact, and that is why they have outlined this issue as the reason a settlement was not reached.”
Furthermore, Minister Ertuğruloğlu said, “The 50 year-long negotiation process collapsed and ended in Crans Montana. There is no other process that will begin after the forthcoming presidential elections in South Cyprus. The new process can only start on the basis of equality and on a state to state basis. We as the Turkish Cypriot side are ready to negotiate but this can only happen if Greek Cypriots respect the rights, equality and status of the Turkish Cypriots.”
Ertuğruloğlu said that the international community must support the beginning of a new negotiation process on the basis of equality. The Foreign Minister also stressed that the international community should not continue its unjust recognition of South Cyprus as the Republic of Cyprus and must acknowledge that the old negotiation process has collapsed and that new models must be sought out.
Expressing that both sides have equal common rights, Ertuğruloğlu noted that both states in Cyprus can sustain their future through good relations.
Ertuğruloğlu also said that the TRNC will continue to take decisions regarding the new process together with Motherland Turkey, “Strategically, our region is very important. We will continue to protect the rights of the Turkish nation.”
The Foreign Minister also stressed that the unjust embargoes imposed on the island should be lifted, stating that the Turkish Cypriot people also have a right to access the energy resources on the island. With regard to the energy issue, the Foreign Minister stated that unilateral actions taken by South Cyprus will not be allowed and that the rights of Turkish Cypriots will always be protected.
Minister Ertuğruloğlu was accompanied at the meeting by Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mustafa Lakadamyalı, General Director Kemal Köprülü, Director of Public Relations Office Fatma Demirel and Director of the Public Information Office Peysan Arıkan.