President Ersin Tatar holds a press conference at Ercan Airport on his return from his US visit

President Ersin Tatar has held a press conference at Ercan Airport following his arrival from the US


President Ersin Tatar has stated that the peaceful co-existence and good neighbourly relations between two States will provide a realistic and sustainable settlement to the Cyprus issue.
The President made the remarks during a press conference at Ercan Airport following his return from the US to the TRNC Sunday evening.
Stating that he held numerous contacts in the US, including meeting with the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, President Tatar said he explained his vision and position for a settlement that is based on the sovereign equality and equal international status of the Turkish Cypriot Side, and why federal-based negotiations have been exhausted.
President Tatar explained that he first went to Washington last Wednesday (3 April) where he met with US State Department officials, US experts at the think tank Hudson Institute, and representatives of Turkish Cypriot civil society organisations, before continuing on to New York.  
President Tatar said: “On Friday (5 April), I met with the Secretary-General and we discussed the Cyprus issue when I had the opportunity to put forward the vision and position for a settlement that is based on the sovereign equality and equal international status of the Turkish Cypriot Side. The meeting with the Secretary-General was scheduled following the request of the Turkish Cypriot Side.”
President Tatar stated that the personal envoy of the Secretary-General, Maria Angela Holguin Cuellar, is carrying out an exercise at exploring whether common ground exists or not between the sides in order to start new and formal negotiations. “A common ground has not been found up until now,” President Tatar said, adding: “The Greek Cypriot Side is however trying to create an impression that we are on the verge of starting a new negotiations process, which is causing discomfort to the Turkish Cypriot Side.”
Reiterating that the Turkish Cypriot Side “will only participate in negotiations once our inherent right, namely our sovereign equality and equal international status, has been reaffirmed and acknowledged,” President Tatar said: “This is a position I have conveyed to the Secretary-General. The Turkish Cypriot Side is determined to continue this position which we first put forward to the international community three years ago, which is fully supported by the Republic of Türkiye. Negotiations on the federal basis have been exhausted. The Greek Cypriot Side rejected the UN Comprehensive Settlement [Annan] Plan in the separately held simultaneous referenda in April 2004, which was accepted by the Turkish Cypriot Side. The last and final attempt to negotiate a federal settlement collapsed in Crans-Montana in July 2017. We have stated that time has come to think outside the federal box.”
The President added: “If there is to be a settlement in Cyprus, it has to be freely negotiated and mutually acceptable. This is also stated by the UN in its respective resolutions.”
President Tatar said: “If they think that they will pressure us and force us to participate in negotiations whilst the inhumane isolation and restrictions on the Turkish Cypriot People are continuing, this is indeed a great wrong. We will not accept sitting down at the negotiating table under such conditions which is what the Turkish Cypriot Side has done for decades. We are pursuing a new position that was conveyed in Geneva, three years ago. Broadly speaking these were the issues that were discussed in the meeting with the Secretary-General. Nobody should expect us to enter into any new negotiations process before our expectations are met.”
Stating that the Secretary-General attributes respect to the position of the Turkish Cypriot Side, President Tatar noted that the inherent rights of the Turkish Cypriot People need to be respected, acknowledged and implemented by the international community.
  President Tatar said that he had also drawn attention during his meeting to UN Resolution 186, adopted on 4 March, 1964, which was supposed to be a temporary resolution that deployed UN peacekeepers to the Island to protect Turkish Cypriot civilians from attacks, “but on the other hand, this resolution treated as the sole government of Cyprus the Greek Cypriots who were the side that expelled our people from the state apparatus of the 1960 established partnership state. The Greek Cypriot Side have no incentive to share power and prosperity with the Turkish Cypriot Side as demonstrated in the Annan Plan referenda of 2004. Despite voting against the said solution plan, the Greek Cypriots were allowed to accede to the EU as a member state, whilst the isolation on the Turkish Cypriot People continued. What about the inherent rights of the Turkish Cypriot People which emanates from our historical right and enshrined in the 1960 treaties? Our inherent rights need to be acknowledged and acted upon by the international community. We explained that it will not be right for the Turkish Cypriot Side to once again enter into negotiations without the reaffirmation and acknowledgement of our inherent right which we have been deprived from. The Secretary-General has stated that he is aware of our position.”
President Tatar stressed that “at this juncture, it is time for the isolation and restrictions on the Turkish Cypriot People to be ended. We conveyed to the Secretary-General that the mentality that obstructs the Turkish Cypriots from being able to have direct flights and direct trade, and being able to meet directly with other international bodies, needs to come to an end. I have stated that this practice against the Turkish Cypriots is a great injustice at a time when democracy and human rights are accepted to be very important universally."
Recalling the “injustice done to the Turkish Cypriots in the Pile-Yiğitler road development project”, President Tatar stated that he “reiterated to the Secretary-General that a road is currently being built by the Greek Cypriots in the Yeşilırmak region inside the UN buffer zone, without UN permission. This is a double standard approach that needs to be addressed and appropriate action taken”.
Describing his meeting with the Secretary-General as “good and positive,” the President said: “From our point of view, it was a good and positive meeting, held at a time when the Greek Cypriot Side is trying to create an impression that a new negotiations process is about to start, following the appointment of the personal envoy of the Secretary-General. I have conveyed to the Secretary-General our position. The way forward in the Island of Cyprus is for a realistic and sustainable settlement to be reached on the basis of two neighbourly States that are in a cooperative relationship. A settlement cannot be reached without an equal playing field, where the Greek Cypriot side is the ‘Republic of Cyprus’ and the Turkish Cypriots a 'community' who are being forced to be 'patched' onto this usurped republic."
Referring to the full support of Türkiye and the fundamental geostrategic importance of the eastern Mediterranean, President Tatar said: “If there is to be an agreement in Cyprus, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus must be a part of this agreement as an independent State. We will never retract from this position”.