President Ersin Tatar receives Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay

President Ersin Tatar and Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay held a joint press conference following their one-hour long meeting on Wednesday.

President Tatar said he welcomed Mr Oktay and his delegation, who were staging a two-day visit to the TRNC, and pointed out that they have a “close working relationship” which has been on-going since he was Prime Minister for “the development and increasing the prosperity of the people of the TRNC”.   President Tatar said he wished to underline the importance of the contributions and support given to the Turkish Cypriot people by the Republic of Turkey. 

“Expertise and knowledge are important to achieve successful projects,” President Tatar said, adding: “The officials in Turkey have these attributes. . .the TRNC and Turkey are working on different projects.” 

Stating that many projects had been initiated during his tenure as Finance Minister, when Prime Minister Hamza Ersan Saner was then serving as the Minister of Public Works and Transportation, the President said that many projects had been started back then, and added that the infrastructure of the TRNC will reach new levels with the completion of the Lefkoşa by-pass and similar projects, which are being completed.  

“I want to give the message that serious effort is being put into the mentioned projects that will increase the security and prosperity of the public,” Mr Tatar said. 

Referring to the second wave of Covid-19 in the TRNC and the continuing efforts to tackle the outbreak, the President said that there are difficulties being experienced at present however “The Republic of Turkey is by the side of the Turkish Cypriot People, as she always is during times of hardship and difficulty. I would like to extend my gratitude to Turkey for showing solidarity in providing vaccine to the TRNC and in many other fields”. 

President Tatar said in reference to the Cyprus issue, that an intensive phase has been entered into following his election as President in October. He said meetings were being held with UN and EU officials, and with foreign officials and representatives.    “A five-plus-UN informal meeting will be held towards the end of March,” he said. 

“At this meeting, I will be able to convey the Turkish Cypriot position and the political will of the people having been elected as the President for this reason. It is important to emphasise that there is a complete unanimity of views with Turkey in relation to the Cyprus issue,” President Tatar said. 

Referring to the statements made earlier by Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at the Justice and Development Party (AKP) Parliamentary group meeting, namely that basis for a federal solution no longer exist and that a solution based on sovereign equality of two States that co-exist side-by-side is the only viable settlement, President Tatar said the remarks by the Turkish President are “very important,”  and added that “Turkey is a leading country in the region, the motherland of Turkish Cypriots, and a guarantor of the Republic of Cyprus”.  President Tatar thanked President Erdoğan personally and on behalf of the Turkish Cypriot people for his observations. 

Remarking that the Turkish Cypriots had lived through lengthy periods of hardship on the island, President Tatar said that Turkey exercised her legal rights as a guarantor country and intervened in Cyprus in 1974, which he said has brought the Turkish Cypriots to a point of independence and freedom.

The President, reacting to the statements made by the Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis made yesterday, said: “If mistakes were made in Cyprus;  if EOKA was formed; if Turkish Cypriots endured genocide; if an attempt was made to unite Cyprus with Greece by overthrowing Archbishop Makarios with a coup in 1974, all these are acts and the responsibility of Greece herself.  It is Greece that has occupied the Republic of Cyprus.”

President Tatar said that it is important for the Turkish Cypriot people to continue their existence on the island “with our heads held high” adding that “necessary work is being undertaken together with Motherland Turkey to crown our honourable struggle”.