President Ersin Tatar meets with leaders of the political parties represented in Parliament prior to meeting with the UN Secretary-General António Guterres

“We will never take a step back from our current position”

President Ersin Tatar has met with leaders of the political parties represented in TRNC Parliament prior to his meeting with the UN Secretary-General António Guterres in New York on Friday, April 5.

President Tatar met with Prime Minister and National Unity Party chairperson Ünal Üstel, main opposition Republican Turkish Party chairperson Tufan Erhürman,  Minister of Tourism, Youth and Environment and Democrat Party chairperson Fikri Ataoğlu and Minister of Public Works and Transportation and Rebirth Party chairperson, Erhan Arıklı.

Discussions on the Cyprus issue were held at the one-hour meeting, which was held at the Presidency on Tuesday (April 2) at 1pm which was also attended by members of the Presidential delegation.

President Tatar, who spoke to the press following the meeting, stated that an evaluation had been made on the Cyprus issue.   Stating that the UN Secretary-General had met with the Greek Cypriot Leader, Nikos Christodoulides, as part of his meetings with EU Heads of State in Brussels two weeks ago, he said: “We conveyed our request to have a meeting with the UN Secretary-General too as this is necessary in accordance with the principle of equality.  Following our request, an appointment had been made for the following morning in Brussels. However it was not possible for me to travel there. We have been given another appointment with the Secretary-General at the UN Headquarters on the afternoon of Friday, April 5.”

Stating that he will depart from the TRNC tomorrow for Washington where he will first hold a series of contacts, President Tatar stated that he will head to New York in the evening and  return back to the country following his meeting with the Secretary-General.

In reference to news today in the Greek Cypriot press that “Tatar is heading to the US. . .that Guterres will put forth proposals accepted by the Greek Cypriot Side and force Tatar to accept them,” the President stated that  “these are unfounded news reports that is far from reality and are mere speculation”.  

President Tatar said: “The Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General, Angela Holguin Cuellar, has just completed the third month of her six-month term, and consultations are continuing. She will visit us for the third time in April. I am waiting for the appointment date to be fixed for our meeting as we have agreed.”

President Tatar explained that the mandate of Ms. Holguin is limited to exploring whether common ground exists or not between the Sides to start new and formal negotiations.  He said negotiations on the federal basis have been exhausted for well-known reasons.

“My position, which is fully supported by the Republic of Türkiye, is that negotiations can be started when the sovereign equality and equal international status of the Turkish Cypriot Side has been reaffirmed and acknowledged," the President said.  
President Tatar emphasised that if there is to be a just, viable and sustainable settlement in Cyprus, it has to be on a two State basis.

Stressing that the TRNC is determined to continue putting forward the national position in full harmony with Türkiye, President Tatar added: “The crux of the Cyprus issue stems from UN Security Resolution 186 that was taken on March 4, 1964, which accepted the Greek Cypriot Side as the sole government on the Island, after they had expelled us from the state apparatus of the republic by force of arms.”
President Tatar explained that for 60 years, the Greek Cypriot Administration has been unjustly recognised as a single State on the island, which is contrary to the spirit of the 1960 treaties that had established the partnership 1960 Republic of Cyprus, of which Turkish Cypriots were co-founders.   

“It is high time that the international community considers the historical and present-day realities of the Island of Cyprus and facts on the ground,” President Tatar said. “Turkish Cypriot People have always accepted a settlement, whilst the Greek Cypriot Side, with no incentive or political will, have refused to share power and prosperity with the Turkish Cypriots on the basis of equality.  The Turkish Cypriots, who are continuing their struggle to co-exist, have been deprived of their inherent rights and on top of this, have continued to face inhumane isolation and restrictions, which need to be ended,” the President said.

Speaking about the “promises made by numerous international actors to end the unjust isolation on the Turkish Cypriots during the UN Comprehensive Settlement [Annan] Plan period of 2004,” President Tatar said: "This injustice, this persecution which has absolutely no justification, must be ended.”

Stating that “different process and methodologies have been tried for a settlement which have always ended with a collapse and failure, President Tatar stated: “This time must be different. It is time to think outside the federal box. I have put forward a new vision and position that is based on good neighbourly relations, and the existence of two States. It is not possible for us to take a step back from this position.  Therefore, my visit to New York is important. I will again convey our position and explain why there is a need for concrete action to be taken to end our isolation.  I will explain the benefits of a settlement that is based on the cooperation of two States; that we are continuing our meetings with Ms. Holguin, and we will remind the Secretary-General that Ms. Holguin will have to make a decision.”

President Tatar noted that at this stage, an “assessment” could also be made with regards to ending the isolation and the start of direct flights.