Turkish Cypriots leader cites his two-state solution

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The president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) told Anadolu Agency on Friday his two-state solution was a policy based on the realities of Cyprus and it has the full support of the Turkish administration.

Ersin Tatar said Turkish and Greek Cypriots established a republic of partnership on the island in 1960 but Turks were pushed out by the Greeks’ use of arms, forcing Turkish Cypriots to establish their administration and state with support from Turkey and have been living freely since that time.

Noting that the Turkish Cypriots voted in favor of the Annan Plan of 2014 whereas Greek Cypriots voted against, Tatar said the isolation of Turkish Cypriots and the Greek side’s accession to the EU in a unilateral fashion was unlawful and it was documented.

Referring to the Crans Montana talks of 2017, the president said Greek Cypriots topped the negotiation table although Turkish Cypriots had a well-intentioned approach and developments eventually clarified the Turkish side’s two-state policy on the island.

He said his country would defend the two-state solution on planned unofficial meetings to be headed by the UN and the discourse helped him secure success in the elections which means the two-state approach was hailed by his people.

While noting that Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean region were not what they used to be in the past, Tatar said the agreement to benefit all regional actors had to be fair, permanent and be based on the realities of the island.

Unrealistic approaches defying Turkish Cypriots and realities on the island will not be approved by the TRNC, according to Tatar, who said the value and status of his country have gradually increased in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Tatar noted that he reiterated his country’s stance with discussions with UN Special Envoy to Jane Holl Lute and that the TRNC would start its strife for recognition with the support of Turkey unless a concrete solution was reached in the context of the Cyprus issue.

In addition, the president stressed that the 5+1 conference would be held at the request of the Turkish government whose presence at the negotiation table, according to Tatar, would boost Turkish Cypriots.

Tatar also said a possible agreement would also benefit Greek Cypriots as they would find an avenue to Turkey’s markets, adding Turkish ports and airfields are currently closed to the Greek side.

Furthermore, the Greek side would not need to spend €300 million ($364 million) annually for defense policies in case of a consensus and both sides would gain benefits, he said.