President Ersin Tatar met with 1974 Cyprus veterans: “Turkey’s guarantee cannot be abandoned”
During his visit to İzmir, President Ersin Tatar met with the veterans who participated in the Cyprus Peace Operation 47 years ago.
Stating that he was happy and honoured to meet with Cyprus veterans at this meaningful event, President Tatar continued as follows:
“Forty-seven years ago, on the morning of July 20, with the heroism you showed, a new era has started in Cyprus. After that day, the Turkish Cypriot peoples attained peace, sovereignty and freedom and the balances in Cyprus have changed. There are now two States in Cyprus. The Turkish Cypriot people have claimed their state with the right to determine their own future, and this state has continued to grow. It will continue to get stronger. There have been very important developments from 47 years ago until today. In cooperation with the Republic of Turkey in the Blue Homeland in the eastern Mediterranean, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus also contributes to national issues by using its rights.”
Drawing attention to the importance of our sovereign rights in the Blue Homeland, in the eastern Mediterranean, our rights on the continental shelf and other acquired rights, President Tatar said: "The Great Leader, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, cautioned on the need to pay attention on Cyprus. He warned that if Cyprus is in enemy hands, Turkey's supply routes will be closed.”
Stating that the games played by the Greek-Greek Cypriot duo could never be acceptable, President Ersin Tatar said that one of the games being played is to prevent Turkish ships from sailing from Çanakkale and other important regions to the waters of the eastern Mediterranean, that they are still trying to do this but that “we will not play their game”.
“We won a great victory in 1974. The Turkish Cypriot people have written a great legend in the struggle that has been going on since the 1960s. You fought for the future of the Turkish Cypriots with the support of the Republic of Turkey and your great heroism in Cyprus, and the Turkish-Greek balance was re-established in the eastern Mediterranean.
If Cyprus had been a Greek island, we would have lost the eastern Mediterranean. The game played in the negotiations based on federation for years is a ploy for the Greeks to rule the island as a single sovereignty. The Turkish Cypriot people attach importance to Turkey's guarantees and Turkey's military presence. As Turkish Cypriots, we will never give up on Turkey's guarantees and the physical presence of the Turkish Armed Forces on the island.
As I address you with these emotions, I express my gratitude to you and to all of our veterans and indeed to our martyrs who sacrificed their lives. July 20, 1974 is a very important date. Two States have been formed after the 20 July Peace Operation as there are two distinct peoples in Cyprus; Turkish Cypriot people live in the North and Greek Cypriot people live in the South.
There is the issue of the whole of Cyprus being taken into the European Union with the establishment of the Federal Republic of Cyprus within Europe, which is called the partnership republic. But there is also the mentality that tells Republic of Turkey : 'You are not in the European Union, you will gradually withdraw from the island of Cyprus'. All this is contained in various negotiations, minutes and documents. That's why I said it when I was the Prime Minister too, that the dangers of this game have definitely been exposed. This is a big game.”
It was wrong to allow the ‘Republic of Cyprus’, which has turned into a Greek state, to become an EU member, whilst Turkey is not a member. And this was done following the approval of the Annan Plan by the Turkish Cypriots which was refused by the Greek Cypriot side in the separately held simultaneous referenda in 2004. The admission of the Greek Cypriot side to the European Union is a great unlawfulness. The Turkish Cypriots must always act together with Turkey for their own security and their own existence, and this is also an obligation provided under the Treaty of Establishment, Lausanne, Guarantee and Alliance Treaties.
The President stated that despite all these agreements, the Greek-Greek Cypriot duo continued to carry on their games for ENOSIS (Union of Cyprus with Greece) in order to keep Turkey away from Cyprus and to have the whole island with the destruction of the Turkish Cypriot people.
President Tatar stated: “No power can and will be able to sever the Turkish Cypriot people and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus from the Republic of Turkey. Because we paid the price and lost many martyrs. We should never forget our history. In 1571, our ancestors conquered Cyprus with 80,000 martyrs. Greeks never ruled Cyprus. We took Cyprus from the Venetians. Our ancestors ruled Cyprus for more than 300 years, until 1878, until the game prepared for us by Britain. We saw that the Greek population increase on the island during the British period. They took away and confiscated the properties of the Turks without making them any payments. The history pages are testimony to this fact. The Republic of Cyprus was established with the equal partnership of Turks and Greeks, with the tremendous efforts of the late Prime Minister Adnan Menderes, Foreign Minister Fatih Rüştü Zorlu and our leaders. One of the guarantor countries is the Republic of Turkey, the others are Greece and Britain. With the Treaty of Guarantee, the balance of Turkey and Greece in the eastern Mediterranean was also ensured. Short time later, Makarios and Grivas, who did not respect these agreements tried to annex Cyprus with Greece and committed massacres against the Turkish Cypriots. The Turkish Cypriot people resisted and did not surrender or consent to what they wanted, and in 1974, when you, our heroic veterans, set foot on the island, the Turkish Cypriots gained their independence and freedom.
“CYPRUS IS OUR JOINT CASE”
Expressing that the veterans undertook a legendary action in Cyprus by showing a great example of heroism, President Tatar said that since 1974, the Turkish Cypriot people are getting stronger and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus has been continuing to develop.
President Tatar stated that the blue waters of the eastern Mediterranean are important for Turkey and for the Turkish Cypriot interests and that it is out of the question to follow a different policy from now on and continued that “we have built our policy and our new understanding together with the Republic of Turkey, under the leadership and instructions of the President of the Republic of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the minister of foreign affairs and other relevant ministers, various institutions and organizations of Turkey, as well as non-governmental organizations who have also adopted this policy and given strong support in this regard”.
“I wish God's mercy on our martyrs and pay my respects to our veterans,” the President said.