Minister of Foreign Affairs Tahsin Ertuğruloğlu stated that the authority which will give authorization to UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) to operate in the TRNC would be the TRNC authorities.

The Minister noted that the UN was told that if they didn’t sign the agreement, their presence in the TRNC territory would be put on the table and added that the expression of ‘You have to leave the TRNC territory’ is also included in this.

The Minister Ertuğruloğlu said that the UN considers the fact that there are two separate sovereign people and two separate sovereign equal states on the island and that if it respects the Turkish Cypriots, it should make this agreement with the TRNC, because UNFICYP cannot operate on the territory of the TRNC with the approval given by the Greek Cypriots as the so-called Republic of Cyprus.

In his interview to TRT Haber, reminding that the Turkish Cypriot side had presented a draft of a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) to UN in New York, Ertuğruloğlu noted that the Greek Cypriot side’s approval under the title of the so-called Republic of Cyprus does not mean that the UNFICYP will operate in the TRNC, adding that the authority that gives the UNFICYP the authority to operate in the TRNC will be the TRNC authorities and the UN is aware of this.

Ertuğruloğlu stated that the Turkish Cypriot side has always demanded the approval of the Turkish side during the extension of the mandate of the UNFICYP every 6 months for years and added that the reason for this was the UN’s Brahimi report which foresees that the UN operations should be in harmony and agreement with everyone involved in the problem.

The Minister said that the Turkish Cypriot side accepted guests in good faith and gives the UNFICYP authorization to operate in the TRNC.

Minister Ertuğruloğlu pointed out that with the collapse of the Cyprus negotiations in Crans Montana in 2017, a policy change was made towards the registration of two sovereign equal states and equal international status and noted that they submitted a draft agreement to the UN, thinking that continuing the tolerance and hospitality shown for years would contradict the policy followed and be inconsistent.

Ertuğruloğlu stated that he met with the Chief of UNFICYP Colin Stewart and his team and added that they would determine what they can and cannot do and respond.