Cyprus will not be a Hellenic island: Turkish Cypriot President

Cyprus will not be a Hellenic island, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Ersin Tatar said on Tuesday, reiterating that Turkish Cypriots will not give up their right to an equal and sovereign state.

Speaking to the Turkish Cyprus Agency (TAK) on the anniversary of the start of the armed protests of the Greek Cypriot terrorist group EOKA, Tatar criticized the words of the Greek Cypriot leaders who indicated approval of their actions .

“If you are still repeating the rhetoric of 1821, giving messages to satisfy pro-Hellenism circles, then I doubt your goodwill,” Tatar said.

Stressing that the Turkish side always pleads for peace, Tatar said that the TRNC seeks an agreement based on goodwill and consensus in the Eastern Mediterranean that takes into account law and justice.

Tatar also pointed out that the hydrocarbon resources of the Eastern Mediterranean have gained importance due to the war between Ukraine and Russia.

Noting that the Turkish Cypriots are on Turkey’s side and a balancing factor in the Eastern Mediterranean, Tatar said the TRNC would not give up Turkey’s guarantee.

Tatar recalled that Ioannis Papameletiou, Greek Ambassador to the Greek Cypriot administration, said that a solution cannot be found on the island until Turkey‘s guarantee is canceled and the Turkish army don’t withdraw.

“We have pursued and will continue to pursue our policy so that there can be an environment and agreement on the basis of equality, where the Turkish presence continues to the end, where peace, tranquility and security can best be preserved with the guarantor of Turkey.”

While Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration support a federation on the island, Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) insist on a two-state solution that reflects realities.

The island of Cyprus is mired in a decades-long struggle between Turkish and Greek Cypriots, despite a series of diplomatic efforts by the United Nations to reach a comprehensive settlement.

The island has been divided since 1964 when ethnic attacks forced Turkish Cypriots to retreat to enclaves for their safety. In 1974, a Greek Cypriot coup aimed at the annexation of Greece led to the military intervention of Turkey as a guarantor power. RTNC was founded in 1983.

The Greek Cypriot administration, backed by Greece, became a member of the European Union in 2004, although most Greek Cypriots rejected a UN settlement plan in a referendum that year, which envisaged the accession of reunified Cyprus to the EU.

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