Messages of unity and solidarity between Türkiye and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus were given during speeches delivered at a panel held in Lefkoşa on Tuesday.
President Ersin Tatar, Turkish Vice President Cevdet Yılmaz and Deputy Chairman of Türkiye’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) Binali Yıldırım delivered opening speeches at the panel titled, “The Place and Importance of the Turkish Republic Northern Cyprus in the Integration of the Turkic World.”
Addressing guests at the opening of the panel which took place at the Concorde Hotel in Lefkoşa, the Deputy Chairman of Türkiye’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) Binali Yıldırım provided information about the Organisation of Turkic States (OTS), adding that Türkiye had shown great efforts for the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus’ observer member to the OTS.
Highlighting the economic power of the organisation, Yıldırım said that the OTS was far from realising its true potential.
Yıldırım also said that the TRNC possesses great strategic importance in the Eastern Mediterranean which was why its membership was extremely important for Turkic states.
He also warned against the games being played to sever the TRNC’s ties with Türkiye and the Turkic world.
He stressed the importance of strengthening integration with Türkiye but pointed out that being a member of the OTS was not enough.
“What matters is integration and unity. I believe that in the coming years, the TRNC will overcome the isolation it faces and achieve recognition,” Yıldırım said.
He acknowledged the historical responsibilities of the TRNC’s leaders and praised the efforts made in the last 20 years by Türkiye to support the TRNC’s development.
Regarding the Cyprus issue, he said that a federal settlement was not possible and that the future of the island depended on the internationally accepted notion of two equal sovereign states.
He emphasized that there is no turning back from this point and that some parties aim to eliminate Türkiye’s guarantees and the equal sovereignty of the TRNC
“We will not fall for this ploy. I am confident that the president, prime minister, parliamentary speaker, and all the authorities in the TRNC, and Türkiye will always stand by its brothers and sisters in Northern Cyprus,” the AKP Deputy Chairman said.
Türkiye’s Vice President, Cevdet Yılmaz in his speech, emphasized the role of the Organisation of Turkic States in enhancing cooperation within the broader Turkic world.
He noted that the Turkic world’s 2040 vision declaration marked a significant milestone, shifting the organization’s activities from a focus on common language and cultural elements to the political and economic dimensions.
Yılmaz stated that with its potential covering an approximate population of 170 million, the organization has transformed into a rising geopolitical power in the world.
He reminded that the TRNC became an observer member of the organisation under its constitutional name, expressing gratitude to everyone involved in this achievement.
Yılmaz pointed out that the fight against the embargoes imposed on the TRNC has just begun and emphasized the need to integrate North Cyprus into the Turkic world through trade, tourism, educational opportunities, and cultural richness.
He underlined that achieving permanent peace and stability in Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean is not possible until the exclusion faced by the Turkish Cypriots is eliminated.
Yılmaz stressed that a lasting solution in Cyprus must be built upon the realities of the island.
Cevdet Yılmaz also noted that the UN Peacekeeping Force has exhibited unfair double standards on the Pile-Yiğitler road, and this approach is not sustainable.
Yılmaz emphasized that in order for the negotiations to begin, the equal international status of the Turkish Cypriots must be confirmed, and reaffirmed Türkiye’s full support for President Tatar’s vision.
He declared that the Cyprus issue will not remain unresolved in the Turkish century, and it will also be the century of the TRNC, emphasizing that making the country a self-sufficient and respected member of the international community is among Türkiye’s fundamental priorities.
“Our language, religion, roots, and history are one. Our past and future are shared,” he said.
Yılmaz also pointed to the significant opportunities for the TRNC in the fields of economy, trade, transportation, and energy, which are the locomotives of integration in the Turkic world.
He mentioned the planned Turkic Investment Fund for Development, which aims to support various projects in the TRNC, including development projects, transportation and logistics chains, infrastructure projects, investments in agriculture and tourism, and renewable energy initiatives.
Yılmaz noted that Türkiye has been providing support to improve the investment climate in the TRNC for international investors and expressed hope for the success of the Irrigation Master Plan prepared for TRNC farmers.
President Ersin Tatar, in his speech, emphasized the long years of struggle, effort, and dedication that the Turkish Cypriot people had put into achieving sovereign equality, equal international status, and recognition.
“To the whole world, the isolations and embargoes in Cyprus may seem like oppression, but they will never make this people give up because we are an inseparable part of the great Turkish nation, and this is the foundation of our cause.”
President Tatar recalled that Türkiye was the first country to recognize Kazakhstan after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in the 1990s, highlighting that Ankara’s leadership in this region has since become stronger.
He pointed out that when negotiations in Crans Montana reached the point of zero troops and zero guarantees, doubts began to arise.
“We prefer to embrace the Turkic world rather than the world at large because sincerity lies here,” he added.
President Tatar pointed out that being represented in the organization of Turkic states was a milestone for the Turkish Cypriot people.
Addressing those who advocate for a bi-communal, bi-zonal federal settlement despite the fact that the Cyprus issue has remained unresolved for 60 years, President Tatar asserted that they will not fall for such games as the TRNC was gradually strengthening as a part of the great nation.