Pr. Ersin Tatar evaluated Cyprus issue and Maraş opening to AA
Date Added: 20 January 2022

President Ersin Tatar made evaluations on the Cyprus issue and the Maraş opening to the Anadolu Agency.

Stating that they were always in favour of cooperation for a settlement in Cyprus, the President stressed that there were two separate peoples and states in Cyprus for the last 60 years.

Noting that they put forward a policy with the full support of Turkey that the official negotiations could only begin when the two separate sovereign states are accepted, Tatar said “we will not go into federation talks as we did before. The federal model had been discussed for 50 years however no outcome was reached.”

“The UN Secretary General Guterres has also seen that there is no common ground and therefore an official negotiations process is not possible without the acceptance of the principles that there are two equal sovereign states and equal international status in Cyprus. It is satisfactory for us that Guterres confirms that there is no common ground at the moment” he added.

Referring to the importance of cooperation for the peoples on the island to live side by side, he said this cooperation would be in areas such as health, judiciary, environment and energy.

Explaining that there were many people from the Presidency who work at the bi-communal committees, Tatar said these people were carrying out work with the Greek Cypriot side on issues which would affect daily life.

He however underlined that the Greek Cypriots were not supporting the working of the bi-communal committees as sincerely as the Turkish Cypriots.

The President also stressed that the Cyprus issue was mainly based on the sharing of sovereignty.

“Our sovereignty is as legitimate as the Greek Cypriots. The Greek Cypriots want to draw us to single sovereignty within the EU. They want to spread their authority to the North in the course of time through an imposed solution. We can never accept this. In any case, Turkey would never allow this. Consequently, the security and existence of the Turkish Cypriot people is of course very important for the Turkish Cypriot people but the continuation of existence of the TRNC as a sovereign state is also important for the security of Turkey” Tatar said.

Noting that the Greek Cypriot side was insisting on ‘single sovereignty” he said the Greek Cypriots were dreaming of the Turkish Cypriots to give up on their own state and integrate in the ‘Republic of Cyprus’ which was turned to a Greek state.

The President also evaluated the US’s withdrawal of its support from the Eastern Mediterranean Natural Gas Pipeline Project.

“When you look at the details, the length of distance and coast of the EastMed it is obvious that the project is not feasible. In case of a solution in Cyprus Turkey is only 40 miles away from here. The feasibility of this is more meaningful. All hydrocarbon richness could be transported to the EU via Turkey. It is appropriate that the Americans and others saw and announced that the EastMed project is not feasible” he said

Reminding that after 46 years a gradual opening process had started at Maraş in October 2020, Tatar said with this move a message was given to the world that “the game changed in Cyprus and the Turkish side developed a new vision.”

Stating that they found it meaningless to keep Maraş in the same situation for another 47 years, the TRNC President stressed that the Maraş opening contributed to the economic structure and tourism potential of the TRNC.

Noting that giving the pre 1974 owners the right to apply to the Immovable Property Commission (IPC) if they want to return to their properties was an appropriate decision to resolve victimization and in terms of human rights, Tatar said “the appeal of the Greek Cypriots who had properties in Maraş from 1974 to the Immovable Property Commission caused problems in domestic policies of the Greek Cypriot side. This is their problem, we did the right thing.”

Explaining that big infrastructure investments and cleaning work had been carried out at Maraş over the last one and half years, he noted that about 400 thousand people had already visited the opened parts of Maraş despite the pandemic.

The President also reminded that there were more than 400 applications to the IPC for Maraş.

“However, there is pressure on those who apply for the return of their properties in Maraş that their application would increase the constitutionalism of the TRNC. This is against the Greek Cypriot policy. They are repressing the people. Some of those who applied will come and settle some others will sell their properties. It is their right to decide. The Evkaf Foundation has also historic rights there. The registration of justice and law is a part of our policy” Tatar added.

Explaining that so far 3.5 % of Maraş had been opened and converted to civil status from military status, he stressed that the openings will continue.

Stating that the TRNC had contacts with everywhere in the world, Tatar noted that students and tourists were coming to the TRNC from more than 100 countries and the TRNC was indirectly trading with more than 100 countries.

Stating that the TRNC was holding contacts despite its non-recognition, he said official recognition of the TRNC could not be possible because of the Greek Cypriot side’s veto.

“We will increase our contacts with the whole world with the aim of receiving more acceptance and the registration of the Turkish Cypriot people’s right to be recognized. Turkey has always supported us in this struggle. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is bringing our issue to the world’s agenda on every occasion. This is a big chance for us. If not today or tomorrow, the recognition will definitely come one day. Because it is a reality that there are two separate states, peoples and cultural structures in Cyprus and this reality cannot be ignored” President Tatar added.