United Nations Security Council Resolution 2618 (2022) has been adopted on 27 January 2022 regarding the extension of the mandate of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) for a period of six months, until 31 July 2022.

The fact that the consent of the Turkish Cypriot side has not been sought while extending the mandate of the UNFICYP, is tantamount to the infringement of the United Nations’ own rules and principles. Ignoring the bedrock principle of UN peacekeeping operations, is the requirement of seeking and obtaining the consent of all relevant parties to the dispute, compromises the reputation of the United Nations and brings the presence of the United Nations in our country into question.

UNFICYP still continues to operate within the territory of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus owing to our goodwill. In order to maintain the presence and operations of the UNFICYP in the TRNC, a mutually agreeable formal agreement is required.  As all our calls towards this end remain unreciprocated, we have no other option but to take necessary steps.

It is unacceptable that the UN Security Council is trying to impose an outdated, tried and exhausted “bi-zonal, bi-communal federation” model to the two sides in its said Resolution. This approach amounts to bolstering the Greek Cypriot side’s policies aiming at trapping the Turkish Cypriot people in an open-ended negotiation process and compelling them to live under isolation. With its prejudgements regarding a settlement model, the Security Council, in fact, prevents reaching of a freely-negotiated and mutually acceptable agreement through exploring ideas outside the box, as suggested by the Secretary-General. This stance serves nothing but increasing the gap between the two sides, rather than bringing them closer.

Decisions regarding the fenced-off area of Maraş, a part of TRNC territory, are taken in line with the international law and in the future, the property rights will continue to be fully respected. It is important to stress, once again, that the aim of the TRNC is to provide remedy to the Greek Cypriot property claims, including restitution, via the Immovable Property Commission (TMK), which is established in line with the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). Nevertheless, unjustifiable remarks regarding the fenced-off area of Maraş have been adopted in the UN Security Council Resolution. These remarks clearly portray that the UN Security Council ignores the principle of respect for property rights and is only in the pursuit of a biased and political decision.

The underlying reason of the tension on the island and in the Eastern Mediterranean is the unabated unilateral and unlawful actions of the Greek Cypriot side. Apart from the purchasing of military equipment, placement of concrete firing positions along the border and in the buffer zone, the military exercises conducted in the Eastern Mediterranean are only few examples of the well-known Greek Cypriot policy of escalating tension. Moreover, it is obvious that the unilateral actions of the Greek Cypriot side regarding the natural resources, which also belong to Turkish Cypriot people, jeopardize security and stability. It is unacceptable that the UN Security Council does not condemn these provocative acts of the Greek Cypriot side. It is apparent that the biased stance of the Security Council encourages the Greek Cypriot side to usurp the rights of the Turkish Cypriot people and to continue its unilateral activities.

UN Security Council has to stop treating the Greek Cypriot administration of South Cyprus as the so-called “representative of the entire island”. The most realistic approach for the international community, as well as the Security Council, would be to acknowledge the fact that there exist two sovereign equal States and two Peoples on the island.