President Ersin Tatar met with representatives of the Muslim community in London


President Ersin Tatar has met with Muslim business people and community representatives in London and participated in a programme on Islam Channel on Friday.

The President spoke about the history of the Island of Cyprus and the importance it has for Muslims – where the aunt of Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) is buried, and the conquest of the island by the Ottomans in 1571.

Explaining that the Turkish Cypriot People and Greek Cypriot People had established a partnership Republic of Cyprus in 1960 that also had three guarantor powers, the President said: “Just three years later in December 1963, the Turkish Cypriots were expelled by force of arms from the state apparatus of the republic.  My people were subjected to island-wide attacks from 1963 to 1974 because of their aspiration to unite Cyprus to Greece, and were deprived of food, water, and medicine, where they lived in camps and caves. On July 15, 1974, a coup d’état by the Greek Junta was staged and the ‘Hellenic Republic of Cyprus’ was declared. The Republic of Türkiye undertook the Cyprus Peace Operation and put a stop to the attacks. Following the Exchange of Population Agreement, Turkish Cypriots live in the North, and Greek Cypriots in the South. There are today two States on the Island of Cyprus.  The TRNC is the guarantee of peace and stability.”

Explaining that the Turkish Cypriot People – who form part of the Ummah – are today being subject to unjust isolation that is preventing direct trade and direct flights, the President added: “The Turkish Cypriot People have always supported a settlement in Cyprus.  The Greek Cypriot Side have rejected at least 15 settlement plans and ideas over a period of more than half-a-century, including the Annan Plan of 2004, in the separately held simultaneous referenda, whilst the Turkish Cypriot People had voted in favour for the settlement.”

“A realistic, practical and sustainable settlement in Cyprus can be reached on the basis of the sovereign equality and international status of the two Sides – where the two States co-exist as good neighbours in a cooperative relationship”, President Tatar said.

Stating that “negotiations for a federal solution have been tried, tested and exhausted,” President Tatar said: “We have opened a new page. A realistic settlement in Cyprus is possible on the basis of two States.  There is no point in continuing to go down the same dead-end road on the basis for a federal settlement, when the Greek Cypriot Side have constantly demonstrated that they do not wish to share power and prosperity with the Turkish Cypriot People.”

President Tatar said that there are an estimated 4 million Muslims living in the UK, of which there are an estimated 350,000 Turkish Cypriots living in the country.

“I am visiting the UK to take part in the celebrations marking the 40th anniversary of the proclamation of the TRNC,” President Tatar said. He said the Republic of Türkiye “fully supports” the two State policy and President Erdoğan, in his address at the UN General Assembly, called upon the international community to recognise the TRNC and for countries to form diplomatic, economic and political relations with the TRNC.  

President Tatar remarked that the TRNC has become an observer member at the Organisation of Turkic States, and also at the Economic Cooperation Organisation.

Stating that TRNC has taken its place as a “strong Turkish state in its region with its tourism, education, culture and entire state structure”, President Tatar noted that “despite the TRNC being unrecognised, but the Turkish Cypriot people are continuing to seek justice, equal opportunity and equal status.