President Tatar attends conference in Istanbul
Date Added: 04 June 2024

President Ersin Tatar participated in a panel in Istanbul on the 50th anniversary of the 1974 Turkish Peace Operation at the National Defence University.

During his speech, he provided insights into Cyprus’s complex history and emphasized that the foundation of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) was laid after the two-track operation.

The President also stressed that any future agreement on Cyprus must be based on sovereignty and recognized as a two-state agreement, with equal international status.

He emphasized that “if an agreement is to be reached, it will be a two-state solution, with the recognition of sovereign equality and equal international status.”

As part of his contacts in Türkiye, President Ersin Tatar on Tuesday participated in a panel at the National Defense University in Istanbul, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the 1974 Turkish Peace Operation.

Tatar was welcomed by Türkiye’s Minister of National Defense Yaşar Güler, top military officials, and the Rector of the National Defense University, Professor Dr. Erhan Afyoncu.

The panel began with a moment of silence and the national anthem, followed by a video presentation on the peace operation.

Professor Dr. Erhan Afyoncu delivered a speech on Cyprus in Ottoman history, expressing pride in the operation that took place 50 years ago.

In his address, Minister Güler stated that the panel contributes to the rightful cause of the Turkish Cypriots.

He emphasized that despite the Greek Cypriots’ attempts to oppress and intimidate, the Turkish Cypriots have never relinquished their independence.

Güler reiterated that the Cyprus issue is not a problem but a national cause for Türkiye, stressing the importance of confirming equal international status and a two-state solution.

For his part, President Tatar shared insights into the history of Cyprus, noting that the foundations of the TRNC were laid following the two-phase operation.

He criticized the inclusion of Greek Cypriots in the EU despite their rejection of the Annan Plan, without consulting the Turkish Cypriot side or Türkiye.

Tatar emphasized, “For a fair and lasting agreement in Cyprus, it must be based on sovereignty. We will not fall for tricks such as the deadline given for Türkiye’s guarantee to end during the Crans-Montana talks. Any agreement must confirm two states, sovereign equality, and equal international status.”

He pointed to the geopolitical and geostrategic developments in the Eastern Mediterranean, asserting that the TRNC is a Turkish state in the region.

Tatar also called for the lifting of embargoes and restrictions on the TRNC, thanking Türkiye for its investments over the past 50 years.

Expressing his gratitude to the Turkish Armed Forces, Tatar stressed that regardless of the agreement’s nature, the presence of Turkish forces and Türkiye’s support and guarantee are vital for the TRNC.

During his address, Tatar also mentioned his meeting with María Ángela Holguin, the UN Secretary-General’s Personal Representative in Cyprus.

He remarked that Holguin’s role is to seek common ground. “If we proceed as the Greek Cypriots demand, it doesn’t take a fortune teller to see that the Turkish Cypriot people would disappear over time,” Tatar warned.