Turkish Cypriot President Ersin Tatar called on EU leaders on June 25 to “see the realities” on the island.
“I call on them (EU leaders) again to see the realities of Cyprus,” Tatar told reporters after a meeting with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres in Brussels.
Tatar’s remarks came after European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said after a two-day summit of EU leaders that the bloc opposed a two-state solution on the island.
While Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration support a federation on Cyprus, Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) insist on a two-state solution reflecting the realities of the island.
“If they don’t see it, if they continue to treat Turkey unfairly like this, they shouldn’t think that we would accept an imposed solution,” Tatar said.
“Our message is that measures must always be taken according to the realities of Cyprus,” he said, noting that there have been two states on the island for 60 years.
He stressed that the Turkish Cypriots agreed on all the roadmaps for a solution, including the Annan plan of 2004, but that these were rejected by the Greek Cypriot administration.
In 2004, a plan proposed by then UN chief Kofi Annan to solve the problem was accepted by the Turkish Cypriots, but rejected by the Greek Cypriots in two referendums.
Tatar also cited the efforts of Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu during the Crans-Montana talks in 2017 on Cyprus.
He said the talks turned out to be fruitless because the Greek Cypriots left the table without even accepting “political equality”.
Turkey’s accession to the EU
The President said that at the heart of the Cypriot issue was a “great mistake, injustice and, in a sense, inequality” committed by the international community towards the Turkish Cypriot people and added: “Therefore, no solution was not found,. “
Tatar said during his meeting with Guterres he pointed out that the Greek Cypriot administration was allowed to enter the EU in 2004 before the dispute over the island was resolved and its leader represented the lonely island at the top of the EU.
Because of this “injustice” of the international community, the balance had tilted “entirely in favor of the Greek Cypriots and the Greeks”, he added.
Noting that Guterres agreed with these statements, he said that the UN chief said that when he was Prime Minister of Portugal he made great efforts for Turkey’s accession to the EU. .
Guterres also said that if Turkey had been accepted as an EU member, there would have been a “very different and positive world today,” Tatar added.
The Turkish Cypriot leader noted that they also had brief talks with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, during which he reiterated the TRNC’s support for a two-state solution on the island.
However, Mitsotakis told him that such a solution would not be welcomed by the EU, he added.
The island of Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when a Greek Cypriot coup aimed at the annexation of the island by Greece was followed by violence against the Turks on the island and the intervention of Ankara as a guarantor power.
The TRNC was founded in 1983.
It has seen an intermittent peace process in recent years, including a failed 2017 initiative in Switzerland under the auspices of the guarantor countries Turkey, Greece and the United Kingdom.