A reception was held in London for 20th July Peace and Freedom Day and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Kudret Özersay, who was in London, also attended the reception. Speaking at the reception Minister Özersay said:” As a community all of us had very serious suffering and there were many migrations.” Recording that Turkish Cypriots do not want any people or communities to live through the same agonies, Özersay said that even when asking those with different political views, the common desire of everyone is not to return to the pre-1974 period. Özersay said: “None of us want to return to the pre-1974 period and as the administrators of TRNC we behave within the responsibility of this mission”.

Özersay continued :
“In 1974, we saw guarantors who brought about a coup against the state, and guarantor countries who did not fulfil their responsibility. In 1974, we also saw one guarantor who supported their brothers wholeheartedly with courage. We are grateful to them”.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Kudret Özersay conducted the opening of the exhibition “Biz/US” organised by the Public Relations Office within the context of “The Project for the Turkish Cypriots living abroad”. Özersay was accompanied by his wife, Aliye Ummanel, during the opening of the exhibition.

In his celebratory message on the occasion of Peace and Freedom day, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kudret Özersay stated that: “the Turkish Cypriot People rightfully do not wish to return to the dark days prior to 1974 and to relive those hardships. Our responsibility is to prevent the recurrence of those pains suffered by our People before 1974. With these considerations in mind, I commemorate with respect our beloved martyrs who have sacrificed their lives in our struggle in order to enable our people to live on and hold on to our land in dignity, and I celebrate our People’s Peace and Freedom Day.” Özersay further highlighted that “Although 44 years have lapsed since 20 July 1974, we still have a long way to go in terms of self-governance, standing on our own feet and institutionalizing.”

In his message, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Kudret Özersay also drew attention to the following matters, stating:

“Between the years 1963 and 1974, the Turkish Cypriot People have suffered through a very difficult period, experiencing deprivation, displacement and loss of life, however, managed to maintain its existence by protecting its identity acting in solidarity. At the end of this difficult period, a new danger and threat arose as a result of the fascist Greek coup. As a result of the subsequent and rightful military intervention, stemming from the rights granted by the Treaty of Guarantee, the Turkish Cypriot People felt the support of the Turkish nation and consequently were able to maintain their existence as a people. Consequently, it was also possible to base any future settlement in Cyprus on bi-zonality, which is of vital importance to Turkish Cypriots.

20 July must be assessed in the following context; 20 July 1974 is a turning point in our history, which prevented Enosis and the coup from taking root; put an end to the deprivation, displacement and killings of Turkish Cypriots, freeing them from the enclaves where they were forced to seek refuge. It also ensured security of life and property, as well as freedom.

I welcome first and foremost the esteemed representatives of the Republic of Turkey, as well as the Turkish Armed Forces and our other distinguished guests for being with us on this significant day.”

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay delivered a speech on the Cyprus Issue at Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs.
Speaking to the TAK news agency following the event, Foreign Minister Özersay reminded that the UN Secretary General’s temporary envoy Jane Holl Lute will be arriving in Cyprus on Monday for consultations with both sides before preparing a report for the UN Secretary General.
He said that what was important was not restarting the negotiations but to determine and to question as to why the talks had failed to achieve a successful outcome.
“It’s important that we find the answer to the question as to why the negotiations which have been going on for 50 years have failed to achieve the desired result” he said, expressing the view that a realistic roadmap on how to proceed in the future could only emerge once that question was answered.

Reminding the statement of the former UN Secretary-General who was in office fourteen years ago, saying that “the Greek Cypriots were not ready to share the governance and wealth on the island with the Turkish Cypriots”, Özersay said that it should be asked if this situation has changed after 14 years and if they are ready for this now.
Özersay pointed out that two important developments had taken place in Cyprus over the past 14 years which has made Greek Cypriots even more disinclined towards sharing power and wealth with Turkish Cypriots.

“The first is the Greek Cypriots were allowed to join the EU on their own and the second is the unilateral hydrocarbon exploration activities carried out by the Greek Cypriot side without the consent of Turkish Cypriots and before a settlement has been reached. More importantly the international community chooses to remain silent over this issue” he said.

As the Deputy Prime Ministry and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, we deem it necessary to share that the United Nations Secretary-General’s (UNSG) latest report, which reviews the activities of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) and seeks the mandate renewal of the mission for six months, features concerning notions both in substance and procedure.

Unfortunately, the report, in general terms, upholds the Greek Cypriot side’s desire for the continuation of the status quo and the UN’s unwillingness to forego its presence in the island, which seem to go hand in hand. This approach further reinforces the already entrenched position of the UN Peacekeeping Force as a symbol of status quo in Cyprus.

We would like to point out, at the outset, that we have serious objections to many aspects of the report and that we will share these objections, in detail, with the UN officials, especially the UN Secretary-General, through our Ministry and our Representative Office in New York.

Throughout the report, there is an attempt to create a false impression that it is the UN Peacekeeping Force that is providing peace and stability on the island. This attempt, which caters for the artificial agendas of the Greek Cypriot side, is for the sole purpose of ensuring the continued presence of the mission on the island.

The unbalanced approach prevalent in the report tolerates the problematic and concerning actions of the Greek Cypriot side and, thus, is not acceptable. Though the constructive and decisive steps taken by the Turkish Cypriot side are welcomed, the report, assigns equal importance to steps which are not on par with each other. The report seems to be inclined to welcome even the most basic steps, which should have already been taken by the Greek Cypriot side.

On the other hand, instead of exposing the Greek Cypriot side’s various breaches of the status quo and border violations, the report makes an effort to put the responsibility on the Turkish Cypriot side in disputed cases. This approach is unacceptable and is complimenting the Greek Cypriot side’s efforts of according responsibility to the Turkish Cypriot side.

 

Bearing in mind the Greek Cypriot Government Spokesman Prodromou’s latest statement, influence of the Greek Cypriot side is evident in the report, confirming the fact that the presence of UNFICYP is an important element for the Greek Cypriot side to continue their baseless discourse. This approach solidifies the UN Peacekeeping Force as the symbol of the status quo in Cyprus.

The report, as in recent years, has, once again, referred to the inhuman and archaic isolation on the Turkish Cypriot side, which affects the lives of the Turkish Cypriot people in all spheres of life, including culture, education and sports, as a mere “concern” of the Turkish Cypriot side. Hence the UN is leaving the issue of removal of inhuman isolation on the Turkish Cypriot people

at the mercy of the Greek Cypriot administration, which has done all in its power and mobilized all its means as to ensure that the Turkish Cypriot side remains isolated from the international community. In summary, the UN, with this report, has put on record that it condones the continuation of the status quo.

The paragraph concerning Cyprus, in the Conclusions of the EU General Affairs Council which was held on 29th of June 2018 in Luxembourg, contains statements based on the premise of “solidarity amongst member states”, confirming once again EU’s previous biased position on Cyprus. Statements on Cyprus in the aforementioned document is unacceptable.

Statements included in the abovementioned Council Conclusions, which solely reflects the views of the Greek Cypriot side, encourage the intransigent position of the Greek Cypriot authority and dissuades both sides from the perspective of a prospective solution. Having admitted the Greek Cypriot side unilaterally as a member state with an erroneous decision aftermath of the referendum on Annan Plan in 2004, EU is expected to uphold an encouraging and supportive position on Cyprus issue rather than repeating this partial standpoint which results in EU itself becoming part of the problem.

It is a well acknowledged fact by all interested parties including the Greek Cypriot side that ownership of hydrocarbons is shared jointly by both sides. Statements by EU overlooking this fact and supporting persistent unilateral acts of Greek Cypriot side impacts adversely the relationship between both sides.

We are determined in protecting our rights.

As is known, Turkish Cypriot side has made numerous calls to the Greek Cypriot side for cooperation on hydrocarbons issue. We have repeatedly warned the Greek Cypriot side who has ignored our calls and persisted on its position that this issue is directly linked to its so called sovereign rights. Unremittingly perpetuating unilateral actions of Greek Cypriot side in spite of our calls and warnings, have compelled us to take the necessary actions in collaboration with Turkey in order to protect our interest and we will continue to do so.

Persistent reluctance of Greek Cypriot side’s to share power and prosperity with Turkish Cypriots, which is recorded also in UN reports, only serves to regress already prevailing low level of trust between both sides. In spite of our appeals for cooperation, repeated unilateral and patronising actions of the Greek Cypriot side leave no choice for Turkish Cypriot side but to take similar steps. Nonetheless, maintaining cooperation between Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides on hydrocarbons issue will not only contribute to the prospect of resolution to Cyprus problem but will also accentuate trust between sides as well as stability and peace in the region. We hereby take this opportunity to reiterate our readiness for cooperation.

As we are currently going through a period of reflection for the way forward for Cyprus issue, our sincere expectation from EU is to take the necessary steps that would create a conducive environment for a “win-win” dynamic that would help establish conditions for building consensus and cooperation in the Island; encourage Greek Cypriot leadership to engage in cooperative actions that would help establish mutual trust and collaboration between two sides and last but not least refrain from any actions which could potentially harm relationship between both sides.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Kudret Özersay and his accompanying delegation consisting of new diplomats and high level bureaucrats from the ministry carried out a study visit to the closed city of Varosha yesterday.
After visiting Varosha the delegation also visited Derinya crossing point where works to allow for the opening of the checkpoint have been ongoing.
Speaking at the visit Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Kudret Özersay has stated that the TRNC Government acts by taking into consideration the practical and economic impacts of decisions, such as the opening of crossing points, which will be particularly important for the Gazimağusa and Lefke as well as for the Greek Cypriots who can take advantage of new trading opportunities.
Özersay emphasised the importance of fresh thinking, not only in relation to the opening of crossing points but also in order to solve problems that have become a part of the status quo for many years.
Özersay noted that the TRNC Government has issued a tender for the necessary work, and that the Government will continue to make every effort to facilitate the opening of the Derinya and Aplıç crossing points as soon as possible.

A SURVEY STUDY IS CURRENTLY BEING CARRIED OUT TO DETERMINE EXPECTATIONS

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Kudret Özersay stated that the project for Turkish Cypriots living abroad which is a part of the Government Programme, is not a population census project but indeed is about voluntarily taking record of Turkish Cypriots living abroad, strengthening our ties with them and last but not least facilitating the return of those who would like to do so.

Özersay said that to ensure the projects’ materialisation into reality and its applicability, a survey study in UK has commenced this past week. He added that the project would be further enhanced following the interpretation of the recorded data and that the launch of the project would take place in July in the United Kingdom.

The Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister outlined that “providing voting rights to Turkish Cypriots living abroad” is not currently on the agenda of the Government.

“THE PURPOSE IS TO STRENGTHEN TIES”

Özersay mentioned that this project is aimed at creating a record of Turkish Cypriots living abroad on a voluntary basis, one which will involve economic, societal and similarly related conveniences. He continued: “The main purpose is to strengthen the ties of Turkish Cypriots living abroad with the TRNC, while this could also lead to an encouragement of our overseas citizens’ to return to their country” and he also underlined the importance of the project, as it would allow for the presence of a stronger identity in the international community.

“WE WILL DETERMINE THEIR EXPECTATIONS”

Özersay stated that a draft study of the project in regards to its budgetary allocations and the subsequent steps to be taken has already been made, and that a survey study is being carried out to ensure the project’s authenticity and applicability.

Özersay described that “the aim is to identify the expectations of the Turkish Cypriots living abroad. Not only their expectations from the Government, but also from the TRNC State and the community”, further detailing that the survey would allow the Ministry to pinpoint peoples’ careers, age groups, date of migration and their overall circumstance.

THE FIRST SURVEY TOOK PLACE LAST WEEK IN THE U.K.

The project which is mainly aimed at Turkish Cypriots living in the U.K., Turkey and Australia, began with a survey study in the UK which was initiated at a festival held last week, and would be continued at another upcoming festival, and in addition to the survey studies there will be stands to better communicate with our compatriots.

He mentioned that Turkish Cypriots living in Turkey would be reached out by our Embassy, the Representative Offices and Consulate Generals. As for Australia, he said that there was an ongoing effort to open a representative office, and aside from the Turkish Embassy, the Chamber of Commerce in which Turkish and Turkish Cypriots were active would also be contacted; radio and other communication tools would be made use of in regards to the population there. Özersay also announced that the project would have a website and social media tools would be used in terms of communication.

AMENITIES THAT ARE BEING PLANNED

Özersay: “we take into account a third generation young Turkish Cypriots living and working in the UK with no present plans of returning to the TRNC. When they voluntarily register with the survey they will be in line of benefiting from future regulations, i.e easing homeownership to the youths. This person might have savings. He might want to invest in or buy property in the TRNC, certain amenities are being planned to be provided in such circumstances. Or certain amenities can be provided in title deed procedures. There could be a regulation towards providing certain amenities to those visiting the country 3 times a year, as opposed to once a year. As such visiting the country much more frequently, and encourage the creation of stronger bonds will be achieved.”

Özersay announced that stipulated regulations would become clearer before the launch of the project in July. He also said his belief towards a substantial increase in returns to the TRNC, in proportion to the standard of living being improved. Özersay specified the existence of “a reality, which is the need for improvement in the standard of living in the TRNC, such as in the fields of education, health, traffic and road safety, and when the mentality of serving citizens becomes predominant, with a reduction in bureaucratic operations, than there will be a natural inflow of returns. And this is our main objective.”

BUDGETARY SUPPORT FOR THE PROJECT HAS BEEN DETERMINED

Özersay also said that during his first official visit to Turkey together with the Prime Minister, in their discussion of issues such as population and citizenship policies, the issue of Turkish Cypriots living abroad has also been brought up and they received support on policies related to these Turkish Cypriots returning to the TRNC. Özersay added that during Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey Recep Akdağ most recent visit to the TRNC, they have also discussed and determined the budgetary allocations in support of the project.

Özersay: “We do not believe our country has an appropriate citizenship policy and a proper population policy. It is not being handled on a sound basis. In general, the understanding is that population of the TRNC is low and therefore we have to adopt an approach to increase this population. We disapprove of this approach.” Özersay continued by mentioning that with the integration of a certain amount of Turkish Cypriots living abroad to the TRNC, a far more healthy population policy can be put into practice.

“THE AMENITIES PROVIDED REGARDING MILITARY SERVICE IS UNKNOWN”

Kudret Özersay stated that due to a number of impediments, some of the Turkish Cypriots living abroad had weaker ties with their country, and as such they were unaware that a certain number of obstacles, similarly to some obstacles regarding military service, had been removed.

Özersay commented “the many amenities provided regarding military service have been unknown due to the lack of proper informative channels; therefore providing necessary information to the Turkish Cypriots living abroad will be a component of this project”. He further elaborated that these informative sessions would be carried out in consultation with the Ministry of Interior and military officials.

“THE GOVERNMENT IS NOT CURRENTLY PLANNING TO PROVIDE VOTING RIGHTS”

Özersay mentioned that the Government currently does not consider providing voting rights to Turkish Cypriots living abroad and that a decision at governmental level hasn’t been made regarding this issue.

He said that a study for in which circumstances one would have voting rights could be undertaken following the results to the current survey. Following the completion of individuals’ voluntary registration of records, depending on the amount of participants, say if there are around 10-15 thousand participants, certain conditions can be set. For example, it could be arranged that to have the right to vote one must have visited the TRNC a minimum of 4 times in the past two years.

Özersay stated that some individuals are against overseas citizens voting in elections due to a concern of “becoming a minority”, a concern he finds reasonable. He further stated that if the number of voluntary registration with records was high enough to lead to a discomfort in the community, then the conditions would be set accordingly.

“TURKISH CYPRIOTS ARE NOT A MINORITY”

The Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Kudret Özersay expressed that another aim of the project was to show that Turkish Cypriots were in fact high in number while reiterating that that the voluntary registration with recording was not a population census project. Özersay: “Turkish Cypriots are neither few nor a minority. If we take ourselves seriously, we are esteemed People and we aim to make this fact visible with this project. If we can care for our own people and keep our identity alive, independent of where our people lives then we can look to the future in confidence.”

Özersay underlined that those living overseas have always been associated with the right to vote and elect, however many countries care for their citizens living abroad not only to make use of their economic and lobbying strengths but to also strengthen the overseas community and help them act in unison.

“THERE WILL NOT BE A NEW DEPARTMENT, THE MINISTRY HAS THE CAPACITY TO CARRY OUT THIS PROJECT”

In response to a question, Özersay stated that the Project for Turkish Cypriots living abroad would most likely be managed within the Ministry by the Departments responsible for External Coordination and Turkish Cypriots living abroad. Özersay added that establishment of a new department or recruitment of new staff would not be required as the Ministry had the capacity to carry out this project and that service procurement on contractual basis could be used whenever necessary.

“THE PROJECT WILL BE LAUNCHED IN JULY IN THE U.K”

Özersay stated the project would be better shaped following the interpretation of the recorded data, adding that the launch of the project would take place in July in the United Kingdom, explaining that while the event was initially planned to take place in June, the High Election Committee indicated opinion that pre-election restrictions could hinder the launch event due to the local elections, and as such it was scheduled for the following month.

 

REGARDING THE STATEMENT OF THE GREEK CYPRIOT MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS ON HISTORICAL ARTIFACTS

ÖZERSAY: “THE INTERNATIONAL ACTORS WHO TOLERATE THE GREEK CYPRIOTS ARE ACTUALLY THE RESPONSIBLE ONES.”

“THEY ENCOUNTERED A SITUATION WHERE THEY COULD NOT HOLD AN EVENT IN A RECENTLY RESTORED CULTURAL HERITAGE SITE FINANCED BY THEMSELVES.”

“THE TURKISH CYPRIOT PEOPLE REPEATEDLY FACE THIS MENTALITY IN EVERY ASPECT OF LIFE.”

The Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs Kudret Özersay stated that the urge to complicate Turkish Cypriot people’s daily lives and to prevent our right to be part of the international community has unfortunately become a chronic characteristic of the Greek Cypriot establishment. He also noted that this is a consequence of the tolerance shown to the Greek Cypriot side by the international community.

Özersay: “The tolerance shown to the Greek Cypriot side by the international community is now challenging the international community itself. They encountered a situation in which they could not hold an event in a recently restored historical building financed by themselves. The mentality exemplified in this situation is repeatedly experienced by the Turkish Cypriots in every aspect of life.”

In his statement to the Cyprus Turkish News Agency, Özersay commented on the Greek Cypriot Foreign Minister’s recent call made to foreign mission representatives not to visit historical sites located in the TRNC, alleging that these historical sites are used illegally.

Özersay pointed out that the bi-communal Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage, responsible for renewing and restoring historical artifacts as part of the cultural heritage of the island, has successfully concluded many projects both in the TRNC and South Cyprus. He continued by stating that ‘’as the Government as well as the Deputy Prime Ministry and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the TRNC, we appreciate the work done by the Committee.” Nevertheless, he noted that the approach of the Greek Cypriot side which implies that they have the sole right to use such artifacts on the island despite the fact that all the restoration works are carried out bi-communally is an example of an unacceptable mentality and is worrisome.

‘’AN OLD-FASHIONED MENTALITY “

Özersay said that “With this approach, how we reach to a solution in Cyprus is no longer important as it is rather difficult to look to the future in confidence and establish a healthy dialogue. The Greek Cypriot side has to abandon this mentality. Trying to impose their political and legal positions upon us or the international community is an old-fashioned mentality. This approach needs to be abandoned as soon as possible. This is an important aspect concerning the future of both communities on the island.’’

‘’THE URGE TO COMPLICATE LIFE FOR TURKISH CYPRIOTS HAS BECOME A CHRONIC CHARACTERISTIC OF THE GREEK CYPRIOT ESTABLISHMENT”

Referring to the Greek Cypriot Foreign Minister’s statement to the effect that he wasn’t aware of who sent the note verbale, Kudret Özersay said that this is an example of tensions among the Greek Cypriot institutions. Özersay: “If such an initiative has been taken without the knowledge of the authorized and elected person, we could rightly say that the urge to complicate the life for Turkish Cypriots has become a chronic characteristic of the Greek Cypriot establishment”.

“SINCERER EFFORTS ARE REQUIRED’’

The Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs Kudret Özersay stated that more sincere efforts are not only required for a comprehensive settlement, but also required for enhancing the dialogue and the collaboration between the two sides.

Özersay noted that the idea of a unitary state has been so indigenized by the Greek Cypriot side that power sharing with the Turkish Cypriots becomes a more aggravating notion. This is the reason why we are required more sincere efforts.

“INTERNATIONAL ACTORS HAVE A GREAT RESPONSIBILITY”

Noting that international actors have to assume a greater role, Özersay continued by asserting that the international community has to remind the Greek Cypriots that this perception is not a normal and realistic one.

Özersay:  “If the international community continues to tolerate this perception by letting it be perceived as normal, the Greek Cypriot side will continue to take this abnormal practice for granted, paving the way for this chronic mentality to deepen even more and make it harder to revert in the future. For this reason, solely blaming the Greek Cypriot side is not a solution. The international community has to regulate its approach and position.

THE TOLERANCE THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY HAS SHOWN IS NOW CHALLENGING THEM.

The Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs Kudret Özersay indicated that the tolerance the international community has shown to the Greek Cypriot side  is now challenging them to the instance where they were denied to hold an event in the same historical artifact which they financed the restoration process. Özersay affirmed that ‘’this instance the international community has come across is an example of the mentality the Turkish Cypriots encounter repeatedly in every aspect of life so we hope that facing this situation helps the international community to understand the unjust treatment the Turkish Cypriot people encounter.’’

THE INTERNATIONAL ACTORS MUST REVISE THEIR POSITION AND ATTITUDE

Özersay noted that the situation as it stands today, should not be linked to the deadlock of the Cyprus problem, instead it should be linked with the international communities’ approach and tolerance to the Greek Cypriot side. He continued: ‘’If you accord to them a status which is not legitimate; tolerate their attempts to exercise power and authority over Turkish Cypriots, this is an inevitable outcome. Then, even on the most humanitarian issues like cultural heritage and arts, there arises ethnic based, disproportionate obstacles.”

‘’IGNORING ONE OF THE TWO AUTHORITIES OR EMPOWERING ONE OVER THE OTHER IS WHAT BROUGHT US TO THIS POINT’’

Özersay lastly noted that “everyone, especially the international actors, should look in to this example and revise their tolerant attitude as well as their position and behavior towards the Greek Cypriot side. There are two sides on this island. Ignoring one of the two authorities or empowering one over the other is what brought us to this point. I believe, international actors are mainly responsible for this”

 

Ozersay: “In the past, we used to be represented in international meetings as the Turkish Muslim Community of Cyprus. It is important that now we are doing so as the Turkish Cypriot State. No one should be offended by this.”

Özersay calls upon EU: “We should at least be invited to EU Summit meetings”

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Kudret Özersay, stressed that as the government and the Turkish Cypriot side, they will be present in all international platforms that they are given access to, to express the positions of the Turkish Cypriot side.

Özersay said that the presence of Turkish Cypriots in international platforms is paramount in making their voices heard. He added that the EU – which has not treated the Turkish Cypriot people fairly in the past – should at least invite representatives of the Turkish Cypriot side to EU summit meetings.

Yesterday, Özersay attended the Organization for Islamic Cooperation Extraordinary Summit on Palestine in Istanbul where he took the floor to express the Turkish Cypriot people’s concerns regarding the recent events in Gaza.

Özersay reminded that in the past, the Turkish Cypriot people used to be invited to international platforms as the Turkish Muslim Community of Cyprus. He stressed that no one should be offended by the fact that now we are invited as the Turkish Cypriot State, which signifies the concept of statehood.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Kudret Özersay attended the OIC Extraordinary Summit.

Speaking at Ercan Airport in Northern Cyprus about the Summit and the contacts he held, Özersay stated that he attended the Foreign Ministers meeting of the Summit and had the opportunity to share the Turkish Cypriot people’s concerns regarding recent events in Gaza.

Özersay stated that he had the opportunity to meet with both the Iranian President and the Jordanian King; held contacts with the Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan and his counterparts from some other counties; and also had brief meetings with the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the Turkish Prime Minster Binali Yıldırım.

Özersay conveyed that the TRNC was represented at the OIC’s Istanbul Summit as an observer and added that his government and the Turkish Cypriot people will be present in all international platforms that they are given access to.

Özersay said, “That is why we attend all international meetings organized by the OIC. We are determined to be present and make our voices heard in all international platforms.”

Minister Özersay:

“This is not solely in order to express our position on the Cyprus question. Regarding the various issues and developments around the world, as the Turkish Cypriot people we will share our views. Doing so is our obligation. Therefore, Turkish Cypriot side will be present and will make our presence felt, not only regarding the Cyprus question, but about the issues that the world is preoccupied with as well.”

Call upon EU: “We want to be heard”

Özersay added that he would also like to call upon the EU, “We believe that the EU – which hasn’t treated us fairly in the past – should at least invite us to EU summit meetings”.

Kudret Özersay said that if the Turkish Cypriot side are able attend OIC and ECO summit meetings and express her opinion on international issues, they should be able to do so over European issues as well.

Özersay, adding that it is a must that the EU should invite Turkish Cypriot representatives to EU summit meeting, spoke as follows: “Conditions have changed in the world. No one should see this call as an effort for status. Our concern here is much greater than any specific agenda or being recognized. We want to be heard. We also want to be listened to and I believe that the EU has an obligation to listen to the legitimate representatives of Turkish Cypriots and should not be afraid to do so.”

“UN Security Council’s calls do not reflect today’s realities”

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Kudret Özersay called attention to current events in Palestine and to those in Bosnia Herzegovina in the 1990’s, stating that these events demonstrate that the UN Security Council is an institution created in accordance with the results of the Second Word War.

Özersay underlined that the UN’s security mechanisms are geared towards the post-WWII era and that these mechanisms do not even properly address the Cold War era.

Kudret Özersay added that this mechanism may be easily deadlocked due to the fact that all five permanent members enjoy the right to veto and that this may lead to a lack of decision.

Özersay stated that the calls of the Greek Cypriot side for the UN Security Council to guarantee a post-solution structure in Cyprus, and for the security arrangements to be organized within this framework, are not in line with today’s realities. He added that the UN Security Council has turned into a security mechanism that is not able to address the evolving conditions and current needs of the world.

Özersay: “This also applies to security arrangements within the EU. The events in Palestine have once again demonstrated the gravity of this situation.”

“We will not abandon universal values simply because Palestine is more inclined towards the Greek Cypriot side”

Özersay added that Palestine and its authorities usually distance themselves from Turkish Cypriot positions and side with those of the Greek Cypriot side, and, “yet, I would like everyone to know that just because this is the case, we will not abandon universal values. If, today, the Palestinian people are under duress, their legitimate rights are violated, human rights are violated, then the Turkish Cypriot people will demonstrate their will, stance and views regarding this situation. This should not pose an offense to anyone. Various positions may be adopted within the framework of foreign policies but this is no reason for us to abandon universal values”.

Özersay:

“One would wish Palestine to adopt an unbiased approach which listens to the voice and positions of the Turkish Cypriots. Our expectation is that in the future, Palestinian officials will enter into a dialogue with us to listen to Turkish Cypriot positions. I think Palestinian officials will also see the benefit of such a dialogue”.

Issue regarding the title of “Turkish Cypriot State”

Responding to criticisms that the title of “Turkish Cypriot State” is used in some of the meetings of international organizations rather than the title of “TRNC”:

“The TRNC is a Turkish Cypriot state, just like the Republic of Turkey is a Turkish state. I am not referring to the ethnic dimension. The TRNC is, of course, a Turkish Cypriot state. That is why, it is an important development that today we are represented under the title of “Turkish Cypriot Sate” in these institutions, which signifies a state formation, as well as the will of the Turkish Cypriot people, where we used to be represented for so many years as the Turkish Muslim Community of Cyprus. What matters to us is enabling the Turkish Cypriot people to be visible. To make the will of the Turkish Cypriot people visible. We need to make sure that everyone sees and listens to this. There is no need for anyone to be offended by this”

Özersay also added that it is to the benefit of the Turkish Cypriots to be represented in international platforms under the title of “Turkish Cypriot State”

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Kudret Özersay attended the Preparatory Meeting of Foreign Ministers for the Extraordinary Summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

‘’THE ATROCITIES PERPETRATED AGAINST THE PALESTINE PEOPLE MUST BE STOPPED’’

During his speech at the Preparatory Meeting of Foreign Ministers, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Kudret Özersay conveyed his condolences to the people of Palestine and continued by expressing gratitude to the host country Turkey, which holds the term presidency of the OIC Summit, for its invitation and for taking initiative on this issue.

Özersay stated that as a first step, the aim of the OIC will be to take concrete measures to lower tension in the region and to stop the atrocities being perpetrated against the people of Palestine. Özersay then continued by stating that it is one of the main tasks of the OIC to be able to make the UN and other international actors react on this matter.

“THE SECURITY ARRANGEMENTS OF THE UN AND OTHER ORGANISATIONS DO NOT INSTILL TRUST”

Özersay continued by stating that “as a member of the Turkish Cypriot Peoples, who for many years experienced similar tragedies, and in my capacity as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Turkish Cypriot State – an observer member of the OIC – I would like to express that we are deeply sorrowed by and can relate to the plight of the Palestinian people, and the fact that the atrocities taking place in Palestine can occur even in the 21st Century, has shown, once again, that the UN Security Council is able to turn a blind eye to such acts and that international organizations tasked with ensuring security cannot prevent these tragedies.”

Özersay stressed the legitimacy behind the insistence of the Turkish Cypriot People for a guarantee system protecting their safety – a necessity which has once again been confirmed with these recent developments.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Özersay concluded his words by emphasizing that as an observer member of the OIC, we stand in solidarity with our Palestinian brothers and are ready to offer all the support that is necessary towards their rightful cause.

At the meeting, work was also conducted on a draft final communique to be decided at the Extraordinary Summit regarding the grave incidents which took place in the Palestinian State.

Throughout the Islamic Summit, Özersay accompanied President Mustafa Akıncı.