Tatar describes Gambia visit as ‘historic’
Date Added: 06 May 2024

President Ersin Tatar on Monday described his recent trip to Gambia as a historic occasion that was both fruitful and productive.

Tatar who spoke to reporters at Ercan Airport upon his return to the island, said that he had found the opportunity to voice the just cause of the Turkish Cypriot people at the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) 15th Summit held at the Gambian capital Banjul.

President Ersin Tatar said that his recent trip to Gambia was an important and significant step in promoting the Turkish Cypriot side’s policy in favour of a two-state solution as well as upgrading the status of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).

Describing his contacts as fruitful and productive, Tatar said that he had the opportunity to address the OIC summit during which he drew attention to the ongoing human rights violations against the Turkish Cypriot people, who, he said, “had been isolated for 60 years as a result of the oppressive and maximalist attitude of the Greek Cypriot leadership.

He added that the embargoes placed on the Turkish Cypriots have been done so “unfairly and unlawfully”.

“We expressed our demand for the OIC’s support in the lifting of these embargoes,” Tatar said.

The president also thanked the Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan and the Turkish government for supporting the TRNC’s efforts  within the OIC and other international platforms.

Tatar repeated his view that official talks on the Cyprus Problem could only begin with the recognition of the sovereign equality of the Turkish Cypriot people.

“While the UN Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy Ms Holguin is resuming her efforts in search of common ground for the resumption of talks, so far these efforts have not produced any results. I will be meeting with her this week but so far we have not seen any progress in achieving common ground,” he added.

Tatar said that it was out of the question for the Turkish Cypriot side to abandon its current policy in favour of a two-state solution.

“As I have stated again and again, the opportunities for a federal settlement have long been exhausted. We have been voicing this view to our interlocutors everywhere we go,” he remarked.

Earlier on Saturday, Tatar met with Gambian President Adama Barrow.

Tatar told Barrow about the latest developments regarding the Cyprus problem and asked for his support on the matter in light of the fact that the Gambia holds the presidency of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

He asked for solidarity “in the fight to end the ongoing human rights violations against the Turkish Cypriot people.

Barrow said he was “very happy” to see Tatar in his country and added that he wishes to develop bilateral relations with Turkish Cypriots through the framework of the OIC.

He added that the Gambia is “aware of the Turkish Cypriot people’s struggle”, and said he was “ready to work together to see what can be done in this regard”.

On Sunday, he met with Banjul mayor Rohey Malick Lowe, the first female elected mayor in the Gambia.

He said she is “known for leading efforts to empower women in all areas of life, especially in politics, especially on the African continent.”