As part of the Foreign Policy and Diplomacy Conferences 2023-2024 organized by the Near East Institute affiliated with the Near East University, a conference on Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean was held at the Faculty of Health Sciences of Near East University.
The Turkish Ambassador to Lefkoşa Prof. Dr. Metin Feyzioğlu and Foreign Minister Tahsin Ertuğruloğlu attended the conference as speakers.
During the conference, Feyzioğlu emphasized that Türkiye does not have a Cyprus issue; rather, it has a national cause named Cyprus.
“For us, Cyprus is not a problem; it is a national cause. It is a cause that we have placed at the center of our foreign policy, a cause for which we devote our existence to the island. Issues may tire people over time, but we have adopted a saying of Atatürk as our principle. We set out not to get tired, and we will never get tired. For us, Cyprus is a great cause that we will follow until the end,” he said.
Feyzioğlu pointed out that behind all the excuses invented for not recognizing the TRNC, the location of the island of Cyprus and the fact that the TRNC is a Turkish state are the key factors.
He emphasized that the TRNC meets all the conditions and criteria of being a state.
Regarding the issue of the recognition of the TRNC, Feyzioğlu mentioned the 1933 Montenegro Agreement, forgotten by the world, which states that recognition is not a condition for being a state.
“In other words, the TRNC meets all international conditions and is a state.”
The Turkish ambassador also emphasized that there has never been a Cypriot nation and pointed out that there are two communities on the island, the Greek Cypriot community and the Turkish Cypriot community.
“Describing oneself as ‘Cypriot’ is not shameful, people can do so under various circumstances; it is a richness. But there is a Turkish Cypriot community in Cyprus. The Turkish Cypriot People are separate, and the Greek Cypriot People are separate,” he stressed.
Concerning his views on a federal settlement model, Feyzioğlu explained that the solution model was first tabled because of the fact that there are two communities on the island.
He emphasized that there is no obstacle for the two communities to collaborate and benefit from hydrocarbon reserves under the umbrella of two separate states in peace and harmony.
Feyzioğlu highlighted the peace on the island since 1974 and stated, “It was not the Turkish Cypriots who broke up the 1960 Republic; on the contrary, it was done so by the Greek Cypriots.”
He explained that the Turkish Cypriots established their own state to protect their future when the Greek Cypriots declared that they could not protect the lives of Turkish Cypriots.
Feyzioğlu, who said that the entire issue behind the non-solution of the Cyprus issue and the unrecognition of the TRNC is the unwillingness for the existence of a Turkic state and Turks in the north of the island.
“Move Cyprus to the Pacific, everything will be solved; the whole issue is the unwillingness for the existence of a Turkish state and Turks in the north,”
He pointed out that the Greek Cypriot side repeately abandoned the negotiating table over the last few decades, opposing or rejecting all solution models and proposals.
The Turkish ambassador also reminded that Türkiye and the Turkish President had repeately offered to host an Eastern Mediterranean conference to discuss the sharing of hydrocarbon reserves in the region, all of which had been rejected.
Also touching upon the construction of a road from Yiğitler to Pile, Feyzioğlu said that developments revealed the racist and fascist ideology that had zero tolerance for Turkish Cypriots in Cyprus.
He also reminded that the Turkish president had called on the international community to recognize the TRNC during his address at the UN General Assembly.
“We cannot expect countries to immediately recognize it, but the hypocrisy of those violating human rights has been exposed. The continuation of the TRNC as an independent, sovereign, and equal state under the guarantee of Turkey is an indispensable vital condition for its existence. The example of Gaza has shown this. Those who govern the state have no right to be romantic; they must be realistic,” he added.
“The call to recognize the TRNC includes the determination to strengthen the TRNC and complete infrastructure investments for an eternal future. The century’s project brought water to the TRNC, and the TRNC offered to share it with the Greek Cypriots, but they refused to accept Turkish water. The construction of the airport is a seal of the TRNC’s status as an independent sovereign state,” he said.
Foreign Minister Tahsin Ertuğruloğlu who also spoke at the panel repeated Feyzioğlu’s views that there is no Cypriot nation.
“This is the truth itself. In 1960, when the Republic of Cyprus was established, there was no national anthem because there was no nation. Without a nation, there is no national anthem. It is sad that there are people who do not know this detail and still hold Cyprus nationalism, which has never existed and will never exist,” he said.