National Address of President Ersin Tatar broadcast on BRTK
This year we celebrate with great enthusiasm and excitement the 47th anniversary of the 20th July 1974 Peace Operation which brought the Turkish Cypriot people safety, freedom and independence.
This year the first day of the blessed Eid al-Adha is on the same day which we are also celebrating and I would like to wish the Turkish nation, our people and the whole Islamic world a happy Eid, good health and well-being.
First of all, I commemorate our martyrs, our leaders of the freedom and independence struggle, Dr. Fazıl Küçük and our Founding President Rauf R. Denktaş, then Prime Minister Bülent Ecevit and Deputy Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan with gratitude and I salute our veterans with respect.
If we are able to live freely and fearlessly in our own country, under the roof of our own state, we owe it to our martyrs, our Mujahideens and Mehmetçik (Turkish army).
We are happy to celebrate the anniversary of a historical day, together with the blessed Eid al-Adha, in freedom under the shadow of our glorious flags. While emphasising the unity, integrity and solidarity which exists between the Turkish Cypriot people and Motherland Turkey as a meaningful message to the world in the strongest possible way, we would like to underline that this message should be perceived very well.
My dear brothers and sisters; As Turkish Cypriots, today is our biggest holiday. It is the 47th anniversary of our attainment of peace and freedom. It is also a day of honour for our Motherland, Turkey. Today is the anniversary of Turkish soldiers and Mujahideens embracing and standing together shoulder to shoulder in the Beşparmak Mountains, Girne, Lefkoşa, Gazimağusa and Lefke, 47 years ago.
Just as the Greek Junta and EOKA militias were about to make a gift and annex this Ottoman heirloom island of Cyprus as the 13th island to Greece on July 15th, 1974, under the name of ‘Hellenic Republic of Cyprus’, the Turkish Armed Forces came to the rescue of their Turkish Cypriot brothers and sisters. They were stunned as they witnessed the strength and courage of the Turkish nation. Thus, their dreams of ENOSIS, which means annexation to Greece, was not fulfilled. However Turkey, which came to the rescue of its kinsmen, was punished with an arms embargo.
The Greek Cypriot side removed the July 15th Junta coup d’état from the schoolbooks and clung to the lie that the Cyprus problem started on July 20, 1974, in order to incite Turkish hostility. However, the answer to the question of why the UN Peacekeeping Force has been on this island since 1964 clearly reveals the starting date of the Cyprus problem.
Let our Southern neighbours protest the Peace Operation which brought peace to the island 47 years ago as well as enabling the return to Cyprus of Archbishop Makarios, who was overthrown by the Greek junta, and which also restored democracy to Greece. Let them complain to the UN and EU citing the attitude of President Erdoğan of our motherland regarding Maraş. Let them organise anti-Erdoğan and anti-Turkey demonstrations on the border of Dherinya which is next to Maraş; They will not be able to change the reality of Cyprus. By doing this they are only deceiving themselves. The Cyprus problem started with the Bloody Christmas on December 21, 1963, and until 1974, they made these lands prison for us Turkish Cypriots.
The Turkish Cypriot people were imprisoned in small enclaves and resisted the Greek-Greek Cypriot attacks on the mountains, on the slopes, in the fields, in the villages, towns and cities for 11 years.
Our people used their chests as shields. Turkish Cypriot people were expelled from 103 villages, squeezed into three per cent of the territory of the island, forced to live in tents and caves as immigrants for years, ill-treated and humiliated on the road barricades of shame, but despite all the pain and tears, Turkish Cypriots have never given up hope that our Motherland would come to our rescue. Whilst resisting with mujahideen spirit, our people never took our eyes off the Toros mountains [of South Turkey visible from the north coast of Cyprus] across the Mediterranean and ignored the song which included the words "I waited but you didn't come" -- which was deliberately played or sung in Turkish from the opposite Greek positions and Greek radio.
This struggle for existence turned into the greatest news ever when parachutes were seen in our skies on the morning of July 20, 1974. Those Turkish Cypriots who survived many hardships until the Peace Operation, whose lives were turned into hell in their own homeland, those who were subjected to torture and thrown into wells whose bones are still being found by the Committee of Missing Persons and delivered to their families following DNA tests who are buried with a ceremony and prayers. Just like in Bosnia, in Srebrenica. Turkish Cypriots witnessed the genocide as early as the end of the 1950s -- since when mass graves have been lamented and hearts have been broken.
After all that has happened, the loss of all those martyrs and after all the cruelty, the suffering, those who have consoled the Turkish Cypriot side with the ‘tale of federation’ at the negotiating table for more than 50 years and those who have been spoiled by the UN and EU should know that the great Turkish nation and the Turkish Cypriot people no longer have tolerance for such deceptions. The road to peace, prosperity and stability in the region, as in Cyprus, passes through two separate State thesis on the basis of sovereign equality, which is a position fully supported by the Republic of Turkey. We do not have the luxury to waste another 60 years in talking about a federal solution. Those who know the facts in Cyprus but still do not want to accept it, the UN and especially the European Union, which unfairly rewarded the Greek Cypriot side with EU membership – whilst keeping us isolated -- before the Cyprus problem is resolved, should not insist on further wrongdoing.
The Greek Cypriot aspiration is to patch the Turkish Cypriots onto and dissolve us in a government that will be dominated by the majority (Greek Cypriots) under the deception of a federation. It is for this reason that they are insisting on federation again after so many years. To us, this is no different from crocodile tears.
Unfortunately, the Greek-Greek Cypriot duo use and exploit their membership of the EU as they wish, and the EU submits to all their wishes. In these circumstances, what will we discuss and how can we come to a consensus with those who do not want to accept and digest the existence and rights of the Turkish Cypriots in these ancestral lands? Furthermore, whether or not they accept the rights, guarantees and military presence of Motherland Turkey arising from international agreements, only the Turkish Cypriot people and Turkey have the right to speak on this matter, nobody else.
Whilst ‘democracy’ and ‘inclusivity’ are gaining more value in our region and indeed the world, some countries that claim to be the defenders of democracy, unfortunately, are acting in contrary to these core values and acting according to their own interests. Ignoring the rights of People in the region itself goes against the spirit of democracy.
As a matter of fact, the EU Commissioner for Home Affairs, Yiva Johanson, stated that Greece illegally pushes asylum seekers back in the sea to Turkey and stated that this is a violation of basic European values. “As we protect our borders, we must protect our values,” Johanson said.
While we find this diagnosis and assessment of the EU official justified, when it comes to Turkish Cypriots, the same EU remains silent, ignoring the economic, social, cultural and sports isolation and restrictions that have been imposed for years. The inhuman and outdated ruling taken by the European Union Court of Justice which effectively restricted us from trading at the request of the Greek Cypriot and Greek duo still stands as a ‘document of shame’ on the Turkish Cypriot people, like the Sword of Damocles. Aren't these decisions and practices a violation of the aforementioned ‘European values’? The EU continues its contradictory policy on these issues, and despite promising to end the isolation on the Turkish Cypriots who said 'yes' to the Annan Plan in 2004 it once supported, it has not fulfilled its promise. The EU either does not act willingly in this regard or cannot overcome the Greek-Greek Cypriot obstacles. Could it not overcome it if it was sincere? Of course, it could overcome it, it can decide to lift these inhuman embargoes at once whenever it wants. Does the European Union, which has been punishing the Turkish Cypriots with embargoes instead of rewarding them, feel no discomfort in their conscience?
In the meantime, we expect the EU to issue the necessary warnings to those who ignore the rights of Turkish Cypriots in our territorial waters, which we know as the 'Blue Homeland', and those who pursue the policy of excluding the TRNC. The Eastern Mediterranean basin, which surrounds the island and is claimed to contain hydrocarbon deposits, is not the sole property of anyone. For this reason, the rights of the countries in the region, including the TRNC, cannot be ignored. Whether it is accepted or not, the TRNC is an entity in the region, a state with sovereign, free and well-established democratic institutions.
According to the constitution of the ‘Republic of Cyprus’ Turkish Cypriots held 30 percent of the partnership, yet they were ousted by force of arms and those who have done this are now cooperating with some countries which do not even have a coastline in the region. In these circumstances they do not have any right to be offended by the joint efforts of TRNC and Turkey – which has the longest coastline in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Motherland Turkey is a powerful country with an authority and rights in the region and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has expressed many times that the Republic of Turkey is determined to protect the rights and interests of the TRNC as well as its own rights and interests.
Moreover, the proposal to form a joint commission between the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot sides in relation to natural gas continues to be on the table. Although such a realistic and peaceful proposal was welcomed by the UN and some related countries, it is exemplary that the Greek Cypriot side's usual rejectionist and racist approach is manifested on this issue as well. We would like to draw the attention of the European Union to this point. Both, the Greek Cypriot side and the European Union that pampers them should accept that the policy of excluding the Turkish Cypriots will not get them anywhere!
The injustices that have been done to the Turkish Cypriots for years are endless and there is no time to mention all of these. The importance of the region is increasing day-by-day. Excluding and ignoring the Turkish Cypriots does not mean reduction of the value of the region, in fact it shows that it has increased more. After all, the Eastern Mediterranean belongs neither to the Greek-Greek Cypriot duo, nor to the European Union, which does not restrain them! As Turkish Cypriots, we have been continuing our existence in these lands since 1571 with the support of Motherland Turkey. And from now on, we will continue to exist under the guarantee and support of Turkey, the guarantor country, in all respects. At the negotiating table, they distracted us with the 'federation' song for more than half a century, they played for time. We've been consoled enough, but no more.
The policy and vision we developed jointly with Turkey envisages the existence and cooperation of two States on the basis of sovereign equality. This is the roadmap for sustainable peace, tranquillity and stability on the island and in the region. Together, we can step into a new era with new conditions. As Turkish Cypriots and Motherland Turkey, we have proven our goodwill at all times and on every occasion. If it is desired to make up for the time wasted for so many years, the Greek Cypriot side and Greece must now accept the truth, and more accurately, they must acknowledge the TRNC, which they have seen but ignored, which they have sought to deny due to their politics. Both the UN and the EU know why those who excluded and expelled the Turkish Cypriots from the republic at gunpoint by destroying the common republic on December 21, 1963, resorted to these movements. However, the fact that the rewarding side is always the Greek Cypriots and the punished side is the Turkish Cypriots necessitates questioning the EU values and justice.
Our only guarantee and starting point in the face of all these injustices is the development of our relations with our Motherland, Turkey. Those who are worried about this, the Greek Cypriot Leader Nicos Anastasiades and his supporters in Brussels who want us to cut our umbilical cord with Turkey and openly say so, should know that our umbilical cord has been tied since 1571, since the Ottoman Empire, and there is no power to untie it or separate it. And we know how to deal with those who try to untie this unity. As the Turkish Cypriot people, we would be happy if we have been able to build up our relations with Turkey to the point where it should be. On behalf of the Turkish Cypriot people, we would like to express our sincere gratitude to those who contributed and served, especially the President of the Republic of Turkey, Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who honoured us on this day of double celebrations.
Dear brothers and sisters,
When our flags were lowered and our Turkish soldiers were leaving Cyprus in July 1878 as Cyprus was leased to Great Britain, our eyes were tearful and our hearts were in mourning. But we had full hope. We knew that the Turkish soldiers would come again one day, that they would set foot in Cyprus again, that Motherland Turkey would not abandon us. We lived with this belief, we resisted with this belief. We continued our struggle with the strength and inspiration which emanated from the War of Independence waged by the Great Turkish nation in Anatolia. We bowed neither to the British Colonial Administration nor to the Greek Cypriots. We did not accept being a minority and a pariah. We did not trample the honour and dignity of Turkishness.
We were not alone in those dark days. Motherland Turkey was always with us. After the epic struggle under the leadership of TMT (Turkish Resistance Organisation), we became the equal founding partner of the Republic of Cyprus. As Turkey, our only port of security and support, became a guarantor country, the Turkish military set foot in Cyprus again on August 16, 1960, after an 82-year absence. It is never possible to forget that day.
The life of the Republic of Cyprus, which was established with the Zurich and London Agreements with the equal founding partnership of the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot peoples, only lasted three years. While the Greek Cypriot leadership, who regarded the Republic of Cyprus as the ‘springboard to Enosis’, was preparing the Akritas Plan, known as the extermination plan of the Turkish Cypriot people, all the rights granted to the Turkish Cypriots in the Constitution were trampled underfoot. According to the Greek mentality, the Turkish Cypriot people could not be equal to the Greek Cypriots. Again, according to this mentality, the Turkish Cypriot people were a minority and could not take part in the state administration. This Greek Cypriot mentality unfortunately continues today.
In line with the Akritas plan, which aimed to annex Cyprus to Greece, on December 21, 1963, when the armed attacks against the Turkish Cypriots began, our people were buried alive and massacred before being buried in mass graves in pits. Our children were murdered in their bathrooms, and 103 of our villages were burned and destroyed. Our people were forced to migrate. Until the morning of July 20, 1974, we lived under siege in ghettos, which accounted just to three per cent of the island. But we continued to resist and struggle. Motherland Turkey was with us again. Motherland Turkey again sent her children. Many young men such as Captain Cengiz Topel were martyred in these lands together with our Mujahideens.
During my visit to Elazig, Turkey, two weeks ago, I visited the graves of Major Dr Nihat İlhan's martyred wife Mrs Mürüvvet Ilhan and their three children Murat, Kutsi and Hakan. We can never repay our debt to our martyrs, we owe them loyalty and we will neither forget them nor allow them to be forgotten.
When the Turkish Cypriot resistance could not be destroyed with weapons, they resorted to massacre and genocide in Cyprus. Negotiations on the Cyprus issue began in 1968. While the Turkish Cypriot side followed a constructive attitude in all the negotiation processes that continued until 1974 with Motherland Turkey, the Greek-Greek Cypriot duo always tried to impose unacceptable minority rights on our people and continued their disagreement. Today, this situation emerges as the ‘neo-enosis ideal’.
Whilst the UN Security Council – by passing Resolution 186 on March 4, 1964, which was unjust and political and which made the Greek Cypriots the ‘only legitimate government of Cyprus’, the Greek Cypriot leadership began to play for time to bring the Turkish Cypriot people to their knees. This attitude of the Greek Cypriot side still continues and the UN Security Council's Resolution 186 constitutes the biggest obstacle to a solution. Unless the imbalance created by this decision between the two sides is eliminated, the Greek Cypriot side will never agree to a just and lasting agreement.
As a matter of fact, the Greek-Greek Cypriot duo, encouraged by this decision, attempted to annex the island to Greece as soon as possible by carrying out an armed coup against the Makarios administration on July 15, 1974, with the support of the military junta in Greece, in order to achieve their goals of enosis.
Being aware of this, the Turkish Cypriot leadership of the period and the Turkish government immediately took action and made an attempt in the presence of the other guarantor country, England. Whilst England did not want to intervene against the coup, Turkey started the Peace Operation on the morning of July 20, 1974, exercising her rights arising from international agreements without hesitation. I remember with affection and gratefully commemorate the Turkish Prime Minister of the time, Bülent Ecevit, and the Deputy Prime Minister, Necmettin Erbakan.
“THE SUN RISE ON JULY 20 MORNING”
In the early hours of the morning of 20 July 1974, the Turkish soldiers were descending from the sky to the ground like rain with parachutes as they set foot on the Kyrenia coast. It is impossible to forget what happened that day, the tears of joy when our people and Mujahideens embraced the arriving Mehmetcik (Turkish army). The Turkish Cypriot people are now free, under the protective wings of the Turkish military and the Motherland Turkey.
However, there was a complete genocide and massacre going on in areas that the Turkish soldiers could not reach. While our people were buried alive in the massacre pits in the villages under the Greek siege and occupation, there was a great savagery and barbarism. What happened in Atlılar, Muratağa, Sandallar, Taşkent and other regions is the biggest proof of this. It is not possible to forget these massacres. It is essential to remember and take into account what happened in the past in order to take measures to be able to reach a safer future, without being hostile.
While the second phase of the Peace Operation was completed with a great victory, the borders of our State where our people would live were drawn. Another important achievement of ours is the population exchange agreement reached in the Vienna talks in 1975.
"IF THERE WAS NO PEACE OPERATION"
It is frightening to even think what could have happened had there been no 20 July Peace Operation. If there had been no Peace Operation, there would have been a second Cretan disaster, and not a single Turkish Cypriot would have been left alive in Cyprus. Cyprus, the most strategic place in the region, would be annexed to Greece, and the southern coasts of Turkey would be under siege. It is very useful to know and never forget this.
With the Peace Operation, whilst the Junta administration in Greece was destroyed and the Greek people gained their freedom and democracy, in Cyprus, the Greek Cypriots who opposed the coup had also been saved from a certain massacre and an environment of peace, stability and cooperation was being created on the island. But unfortunately, despite all that has happened, those who try to distort these historical facts still persist with the wrong account of history.
"WE SHOULD KNOW THE VALUE OF OUR STATE"
In the 1963 bloody Christmas attacks to achieve Enosis, our people were excluded from the Republic of Cyprus, of which they were equal founding partners, at gunpoint, while deprived of administrative functions. But, our people knew how to stand up again. Our people formed the General Committee in 1964, the Provisional Turkish Cypriot Administration in 1967, and later the Turkish Cypriot Administration in order to govern themselves, and they did not submit to anyone and did not come under anyone's rule.
After the Peace Operation, the Autonomous Turkish Cypriot Administration was established, and in 1975 the Turkish Cypriot Federated State was established. With the declaration of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus on November 15, 1983, our century-long struggle for freedom was crowned. We have reached an independent and sovereign state. This is our greatest achievement, our pride and honour. We owe this to the Peace Operation and Motherland Turkey.
Today, we may have a number of problems and difficulties. It is our duty to work together to keep our state alive and to strengthen it even more, and to hold on tightly to Motherland Turkey. We should know the value of our state and protect it. This is our debt to our martyrs and future generations. It should not be forgotten that people without state and sovereignty are slaves of other people.
GREEK MENTALITY DOES NOT CHANGE
All the negotiation processes that started after the Peace Operation also ended in failure with the unchanging mentality and uncompromising attitude of the Greek-Greek Cypriot duo whose concept for an agreement based on a federal basis was the abolishment of the active and effective guarantee of Turkey and removal of the Turkish army from Cyprus. Furthermore, the Greek Cypriot side did not want to share equality, prosperity and wealth with the Turkish side. As in the past, they always offered minority rights to the Turkish side, which were not acceptable.
As the Greek Cypriot side was rejecting sovereign equality, it was aiming to patch the Turkish Cypriot people onto the Republic of Cyprus, which has been turned into a Greek state.
Whilst the Greek Cypriot side has rejected all the solution proposals that have been brought to the agenda so far, the last negotiation process that started in 2008 collapsed in Crans Montana in 2017 as a result of the intransigence of the Greek Cypriot side. In this process, the Greek Cypriot side, while rejecting political equality, continued to insistently demand a solution that would evolve into a ‘zero troops, zero guarantees" and made demands that in effect paved the way to having a unitary state under Greek rule.
OUR REALISTIC VISION
Prior to the 2020 Presidential elections, when I was the Prime Minister and the Chairman of the National Unity Party (UBP), I brought up and defended a solution based on two States. During the election process, I shared this new vision with my people. Naturally, after I won the election, a new will emerged, supported by my people.
The UN Secretary General invited me to Geneva with the Greek Cypriot leader and the Foreign Ministers of the three guarantor countries, emphasising that “this time should be different”. For the first time, I presented to the UN the solution model that envisages cooperation between two existing States on the basis of sovereign equality and equal international status for an agreement at the informal five-plus-UN informal meeting held in Geneva, Switzerland. This is a historic step.
What has happened since 1963 as a result of the out-dated and racist mentality of the Greek Cypriot side, the outcome of the Annan Plan referendum, what happened in Crans Montana in 2017 and finally in Geneva in 2021 have made it clear that a federal solution in Cyprus is not possible and cannot be sustained.
These necessitated the introduction of new, realistic and practical ideas. The main aim of the Greek Cypriot side is to create a unitary Greek state covering the whole island under the name of the Republic of Cyprus they occupied and to patch the Turkish Cypriot people into it.
SOLUTION BASED ON SOVEREIGN EQUALITY AND EQUAL INTERNATIONAL STATUS
We can no longer tolerate that the Greek Cypriot side deceiving us and the world with open-ended negotiations and to keep us imprisoned at the negotiating table for another 53 years.
It is obvious that the new solution model we have put forward with our new vision will both establish a permanent reconciliation on the island and contribute to the peace and stability of our region. Although we explained these important elements to our Greek Cypriot interlocutors by keeping the door of reconciliation and diplomacy open, they preferred to continue their unilateral provocative actions. In the presence of you, I would like to repeat our call for reconciliation to our Greek interlocutors.
At this point, the Turkish Cypriot people are not satisfied with just promises. As it will be remembered, the Turkish Cypriot people said yes to a solution, to a compromise, in the Annan Plan referenda; Whilst the Greek Cypriot side was rewarded with EU membership despite saying no, the goodwill for peace of the Turkish Cypriot people was punished despite the promises made. The Greek Cypriot State, which was accepted as a full member of the EU shortly after that date, continues its policy of threat and blackmail on the Turkish Cypriot People by using the privileges brought by this membership. If the relevant international community, especially the EU, who express that they are a party to a fair and permanent reconciliation are sincere, they need to produce policies that will ensure equivalence between the two sides in Cyprus.
“A FAIR AND PERMANENT AGREEMENT”
On this historic anniversary, I would like to express once again that we are in favour of a fair, permanent and sustainable agreement through negotiations. For this, the sovereign equality and equal international status of the two existing states must be accepted.
Unfortunately, however, as seen before and after the five-plus-UN informal meeting held in Geneva, the hegemonic mentality and attitude of the Greek Cypriots has not changed. The Greek leadership continues to insist on a solution based on the Republic of Cyprus under their occupation and to impose that "there will be no solution without the removal of Turkey's guarantee, the withdrawal of Turkish troops, and the return of Varosha".
Despite all the pressures of the Greek-Greek Cypriot duo and their supporters, we put our solution proposal based on the existence and cooperation of two sovereign equal States on the table in Geneva. We are not going to give up or take a step back from this solution proposal. It is clear as daylight that the federation solution model is not one that can protect the legitimate rights, interests and even existence of the Turkish Cypriot people in the face of the bigotry of the Greek Cypriot side. We will not go back to before 1974, nor will we be a minority to Greek Cypriots. We will continue to walk on the path we have set with Motherland Turkey.
As the President, my main duty is to protect the State, its sovereignty, the rights and interests of my people, not to make my people a minority of Greek Cypriots, and to further strengthen our unshakable ties with Turkey. Conspiracies, operations, ugly attacks cannot intimidate me. With this belief and faith, I will continue to fight for my people.
We are determined to protect the natural resources over which we have equal rights around the island of Cyprus together with Motherland Turkey.
The Blue Homeland is a very important strategic dimension in the protection of our national interests in the Eastern Mediterranean and the defence of our legitimate rights, which reinforces the ties between us and our Motherland.
I would like to take this opportunity to reiterate that our proposals for cooperation as TRNC to our Southern Neighbour, in order to benefit from the hydrocarbon resources around the island of Cyprus on the basis of sovereign equality, are still on the table and the door of diplomacy is open.
In your presence, I would like to emphasise again in the strongest possible manner, that any initiative that excludes Turkey and the TRNC in the Eastern Mediterranean has no chance of success and that we will defend our legitimate rights to the end.
PANDEMIC – ECONOMY
For the last one-and-a-half-years, with the support of our Motherland Turkey, we have been fighting against the pandemic that has threatened our country as well as the world which has had a detrimental impact on all our lives.
We are trying to return to our normal life faster than many countries by fighting the coronavirus in great solidarity with our people.
We continue to show that the unity and solidarity of the state and citizens is an important force to overcome any problem. It is not that we are not experiencing economic and social problems as their negative effects are still continuing. But acting together, we will overcome these difficulties. Let no one doubt that.
On behalf of myself and my people, I would like to thank our doctors and all health workers who have made great sacrifices during the epidemic process, and Motherland Turkey for their great help in providing vaccines and medical supplies.
In the meantime, I would like to emphasise once again that we must continue to strictly comply with the measures.
I sincerely believe that our country will enter a period of rapid rise after the epidemic process is left behind, which has negatively affected the whole world.
The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus has very suitable conditions for going forward in tourism, higher education sector, informatics, light industry, real estate sector, industrial agriculture and animal husbandry. I also fully believe that we will achieve success in all sectors in order to revive and strengthen the economy. We will achieve this together.
THE WATER PROJECT OF THE CENTURY
On the other hand, while the idea of bringing water to the TRNC was considered by some as an "unrealistic dream", this dream came to fruition. Motherland Turkey, which gives us blood when we want blood and life when we want life, also gave us its water.
Half of the water piped to the TRNC from Anatolia will be used as drinking water, while the other half will be used for agricultural irrigation. In this context, the TRNC Irrigation Transmission Project, which was initiated in 2017, continues in order to drain the water to the Güzelyurt and Mesarya plains. Meanwhile, the Güzelyurt and Mesarya Plain Joint Irrigation Tunnel has been opened, and when the project is completed, our agricultural sector will jump into a new era and abundance and prosperity will increase. On behalf of myself and my people, I would like to thank our Motherland Turkey for all this.
I express the gratitude of our people to the great Turkish nation, of which we are proud to be an inseparable part in fate, sorrow and joy, our Motherland Turkey, which is always with us, and our saviours, the glorious Turkish Armed Forces.
July 20 is our liberation day.
July 20 is the day when our struggle for existence has been crowned and our pain has been relieved.
July 20 is the day we reunited with our Motherland.
July 20 is the day we got our own administration, and most importantly, our sovereignty.
Our clear message to the relevant circles is this: The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is at least as sovereign and as legitimate as the Greek Cypriot State.
The cooperation to be implemented on the basis of this reality will solve the Cyprus issue that has been going on for over half a century, and will bring peace, prosperity and stability to our island and the region.
With these feelings and thoughts, I commemorate our 20th of July Peace and Freedom Day and a blessed Eid al-Adha, and present my love and respect to all.