Osman Örek, one of the leading figures in the Turkish Cypriot Peoples’ struggle for existence was remembered today on the 24th anniversary of his death at a ceremony held at his graveside.
Örek who served as a statesman under the Turkish Cypriot Federated State and leader of the National Unity Party (UBP) had also served as defence minister in the 1960 Cyprus Republic’s first cabinet.
The ceremony held this morning was attended by President Ersin Tatar, the Speaker of Parliament Zorlu Töre, Prime Minister Ünal Üstel, the Turkish Ambassador to Lefkoşa Metin Feyzioğlu, some ministers, other state and government officials as well as military officials.
A minutes silence was observed followed by the hoisting of the flags to the national anthem.
Speeches were also delivered at the ceremony by President Ersin Tatar and Osman Örek’s daughter Yeşim Örek highlighting the great services given by the late politician to the Turkish Cypriot people.
President Ersin Tatar in his speech recalled his conversations with the late Örek and how he shared with him his memories with Archbishop Makarios during the time of the establishment of the 1960 Cyprus Republic.
“I remember how Örek used to tell me how Makarios never believed in the partnership Republic and how he always harboured aspirations of uniting the island with Greece,” Tatar said.
He pointed out that contributions made by the late Örek to the Turkish Cypriot people’s journey to statehood were indisputable.
“The 1960 Treaty of Establishment’s greatest success was including Türkiye as a guarantor power in Cyprus and granting it unilateral intervention rights. Another success was establishing Turkish Cypriots as equal partners. But as it is known the 1960 Republic was a short-lived experience after the Greek Cypriots ejected Turkish Cypriots from the state apparatus. However, our current policy based on sovereign equality and equal international status, the principles and ideas are based on the 1960 Republic,” Tatar added.
The president said that the late Örek’s contributions and services will never be forgotten.
He added that Turkish Cypriots were able to live freely and in security today as a result of the guarantees provided by motherland Türkiye.
“Today we cry out to the whole world that there are two separate peoples and two separate states in Cyprus. That the Turkish Cypriot people have the right to self-determination and so if any settlement is to be reached it must be based on sovereign equality,” Tatar concluded.