President Ersin Tatar departs for the US to meet with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in New York

“A new and formal negotiations process can be started following the acceptance and acknowledgment of our sovereign equality and equal international status”


President Ersin Tatar has departed for the US where he will meet with the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres as well as hold numerous contacts in Washington and New York.
President Tatar was sent off by the Speaker of the Parliamentary Assembly, Zorlu Töre, Security Forces Command Deputy Commander Brigadier General Kadir Bayraklı and other officials. The  President is being accompanied by his Special Representative Güneş Onar.
President Tatar held a press conference prior to his departure at Ercan Airport on Wednesday.
“We requested the meeting with the Secretary-General”
President Tatar stated that he will first be visiting Washington where he will hold a series of meetings before heading to New York to meet with the Secretary-General on Friday.
Reminding that the Secretary-Geneal had recently met with the Greek Cypriot leader Nikos Christodoulides in Brussels on the sidelines of the European Council meetings, President Tatar said: “The Greek Cypriot leader had met with the UN Secretary-General in Brussels and discussed the Cyprus issue.  We requested the meeting with the Secretary-General to also be given an opportunity to convey our views as the Turkish Cypriot Side, under the obligation of the UN to treat both sides as equals.”
Stating that he had first been invited to Brussels to meet with the Secretary-General following the request for the meeting, President Tatar said: “Unfortunately, it just was not possible for me to commute to Brussels and make it in time for the proposed meeting in such a short notice.”
President Tatar stated: “This is when an appointment was arranged for our meeting with the Secretary-General for April 5, following our insistence for a meeting.”
President Tatar stated that new and formal negotiations can only be started following the reaffirmation and acknowledgement of the sovereign equality and equal international status of the Turkish Cypriot Side.
“For the past three years, there is a general understanding in our meetings with the UN and many international actors that there is no common ground between the two Sides as a basis for negotiations,” President Tatar added.
Stating that federal-based negotiations have been tried, failed and exhausted, President Tatar stated: “The last and final attempt to reach a federal solution in Cyprus collapsed in Crans-Montana in July 2017.  Federal based negotiations have been exhausted. We are not going to enter talks from the point that was left, seven years ago, which ended in failure.  We want a realistic and sustainable settlement in Cyprus on the basis of two States, where each side co-exists side-by-side as good neighbours in a cooperative relationship.”
President Tatar stated that he had opposed the appointment of a “Special Envoy” of the UN, and that as a result, the UN Secretary-General appointed María Ángela Holguín Cuéllar to be his Personal Envoy, who has a limited mandate to explore whether common ground exists or not between the sides.
President Tatar stated that he had approved the appointment of Ms Holguín for a period not exceeding six months. “We are against an open-ended process,” President Tatar said, adding: “On April 5, it will be exactly three months since Ms Holguín started her role as Personal Envoy of the UN Secretary-General.” He said she will next be visiting the Island of Cyprus sometime in April, that will be her third visit in this capacity.
“Greek Cypriot Side is trying to create a perception”
President Tatar stated that the Greek Cypriot leader, Nikos Christodoulides, has been making statements to the press claiming that a proposal has been put forward by the UN Secretary-General which he himself accepted, and that negotiations could be started if the proposal is also accepted by President Tatar.
“These sorts of statements are nothing more than attempts aimed at creating a perception,” President Tatar said. “The fact of the matter is that we requested the meeting with the UN Secretary-General.”
“It is crystal clear that no common ground exists between the sides until now”
Stating that he will be conveying the position of the Turkish Cypriot Side to the UN Secretary-General, President Tatar added: “There will be no turning back from our vision and position that is fully supported by the Republic of Türkiye, which we first put forward to the international community three years ago.  The Personal Envoy will continue to explore whether common ground exists or not between the sides and present her findings to the Secretary-General.  It is crystal clear, however, that until now, no common ground exists between the sides.”
The President explained that the Greek Cypriot Side was continuing to insist on the start of negotiations from the point that was left in Crans-Montana, on the basis of a bizonal, bicommunal federation which he explained is not possible “as negotiations on that basis collapsed in failure and has exhausted negotiations on a federal basis”.  
President Tatar explained that a delegation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Türkiye had visited him yesterday, and that “full support has been reiterated to our position for a settlement that is based on our sovereign equality and equal international status”.
“Inhumane isolation and restrictions on Turkish Cypriots need to be ended”
President Tatar underlined the importance of the isolation and restrictions on the Turkish Cypriot People. “I will convey to the Secretary-General our expectation that the inhumane isolation and restrictions on the Turkish Cypriot People needs to be ended,” President Tatar said. “The promises made by the international community to end our isolation during the period of the Annan Plan in 2004 have still not been honoured. We are facing a mentality that aims to deepen our isolation and obstruct any kind of development of the Turkish Cypriot People,” President Tatar said.
Referring to Resolution 186 of March 4, 1964, President Tatar said: “This unjust resolution had been adopted by the Security Council as a temporary measure, but it treated the Greek Cypriots – who expelled the Turkish Cypriots from the state apparatus by force of arms and attacked our people across the island – as the sole government of the Island. It was the Greek Cypriot Side who sought to use the partnership republic to get rid of the British from the Island, and to use the republic as a springboard for uniting Cyprus with Greece – as stated openly by Archbishop Makarios.  However, the Republic of Cyprus had been established as a partnership state on the basis of equality.  Our inherent rights, namely our sovereign equality and equal international status, is both a historic right and one that is enshrined in the treaties that had established the republic, of which we have since been deprived. It is also not the Turkish Cypriot Side that rejected numerous federal-based settlement plans for more than half-a-century.”
President Tatar explained that negotiations for a federal settlement have been held “for more than 60 years,” but that the Greek Cypriot Side has “always run away from an equality-based federal settlement, the most recent demonstration being the Annan Plan of April 2004 and in Crans-Montana in July 2017”.
President Tatar stated that his position for a settlement that is based on the sovereign equality and equal international status of the Turkish Cypriot Side is “open, transparent and provides a way forward based on the realities of the Island for a sustainable settlement, that will provide peace and stability not only to the Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots, but also to the region.
Pointing to the recent statements made by the Greek Cypriot leader, Nikos Christodoulides during an EOKA commemoration ceremony, President Tatar said: “I was dismayed to have seen the new statements made by Mr Christodoulides at the EOKA commemoration ceremonies, which clearly exposes his mentality that he continues to see Cyprus as being a Hellenic Island, whilst also demanding that the Turkish army leaves the Island.  The Greek Cypriot Side wishes to turn the Turkish Cypriot People into a minority within the EU and to rid the eastern Mediterranean from Türkiye. In the face of such a continuing mentality, we are putting forward a position for a settlement that is based on the reaffirmation and acknowledgment of our inherent rights, namely our sovereign equality and equal international status.   These are generally the issues that I will be conveying to the Secretary-General on Friday.”