The UN Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 2646 (2022) regarding the extension of the mandate of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) for a period of six months has been adopted on 28 July 2022.
The will and sovereignty of the Turkish Cypriot people have been ignored and the consent of the Turkish Cypriot side has not been obtained for the extension of the mandate of the UNFICYP. Although obtaining the consent of the parties is one of the main principles of peacekeeping operations, obtaining only the consent of the Greek Cypriot Administration (GCA) for the extension of the UNFICYP’s mandate leads to the questioning of for whom and what the UN Peacekeeping Force actually serves. The extension of the UNFICYP’s mandate by the UNSC, only with the agreement of the Greek Cypriot side, regarding its activities on the entire island compels us to take some measures.
The UN Peacekeeping Force has maintained its presence in our country and has been able to carry out its activities on the basis of our goodwill and hospitality, but it has been repeatedly stated to the UN and the relevant parties that this situation was not sustainable. We would like to express that we have given the UN sufficient time for our rightful demand of a formal agreement between the UN and the TRNC for many years, and that we will present a proposal to the UN on this matter in the near future.
The omittance in the resolution of the proposals made by our President on 1 and 8 July 2022, is a clear indication that the UN Security Council has adopted an extremely biased approach to the Cyprus issue. As is known, these new and unconditional proposals for cooperation, which have already been conveyed to the United Nations Secretary-General, would not only benefit the two peoples on the island but also offer a solution to the common challenges of the two peoples. It is understood that by not referring to the constructive cooperation proposals of the Turkish Cypriot side regarding a mine-free island and irregular migration, however on the other hand, calling on both sides on these issues, has no other purpose but to conceal the Greek side’s refusal to cooperate.
UNSC members refrain from even emphasizing that the hydrocarbon resources belong to the two peoples of the island. Similarly, they do not condemn the unilateral and illegal activities of the Greek Cypriot side carried out at the expense of the inherent rights and legitimate interests of the Turkish Cypriot people, which escalate the instability and tension in the region. It should be kept in mind that the Turkish Cypriot people, one of the two co-owners of the Island of Cyprus have legitimate, equal and inalienable rights in the hydrocarbon resources as the Greek Cypriots, and our proposals for cooperation in this regard should be taken into account. If the Greek Cypriot side continues its provocative activities, we will continue our determined steps to protect our rights and interests in the region together with Motherland Turkey. The reaction in the resolution to the opening we have made in the fenced off area of Maraş, an area within the territory of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which respects the international law and property claims, is unacceptable. It should not be forgotten that the Maraş opening is a step that enables the conclusion of the property claims within the fenced off area of Maraş, including by restitution, through the Immovable Property Commission, which is recognized as an effective domestic remedy mechanism by the European Court of Human Rights. The Greek Cypriot leadership has habitualized to violate the buffer zone by placing nearly 300 heavy weapon firing positions in the buffer zone and along the border line, deploying kilometers of concertina wire fence and illegally constructing a cinema and university. The silence of UNSC on these and similar violations, constitutes a part of the same biased approach it has adopted in an effort to please the Greek Cypriot side. As long as the UNSC remains silent on the provocative actions of the Greek Cypriot leadership that trigger tension on the island, it will encourage the Greek Cypriot side to continue these malicious activities and hinder efforts to establish cooperation on the island.
The Security Council still continues to ignore our realistic proposal to establish a cooperative relationship based on the sovereign equality and equal international status of the two States and tries to impose the “federal solution” model that has been unsuccessful and exhausted for more than fifty years. This futile effort eliminates the possibility of reaching a freely negotiated and mutually acceptable agreement between the two parties on the island and serves for the continuation of the status quo favoring the Greek Cypriot side.
The maximalist attitude of the Greek Cypriot side has led to the failure of all negotiation processes, results in a constant tension in the Eastern Mediterranean, and also prevents solutions to irregular migration and other challenges. The only aim of the Greek side is to condemn the Turkish Cypriot people to live in isolation. Unfortunately, this stance of the Greek Cypriot side is supported by the misguided policy of the international community on the Cyprus issue.
The Turkish Cypriot side, with its realistic vision and constructive proposals, is doing its part to make the Island of Cyprus a source of peace and stability in the region. The UNSC should stop seeing the Greek side as the so-called sole representative of the island, and accept the fact that there are two States with sovereign equality and equal status on the island. In addition, it should understand that a sustainable agreement on the island can only be built on the basis of this understanding, and stop acting as a spokesperson for the propaganda of the Greek Cypriot leadership, which denies the Turkish presence on the island.