President Ersin Tatar receives UK Parliamentary delegation: “There are two sovereign States on the island of Cyprus”
“The existence of two sovereign States is a reality.”
President Ersin Tatar received a delegation of UK Parliamentarians who staged a visit to the TRNC, where the President called upon the UK Government to take a fresh approach in its unequal treatment of Turkish Cypriot People.
Visiting were MP’s Paul Bristow, Stephen James Metcalfe and Brendan Clarke-Smith, and The Lord Rogan of Lower Iveagh and The Baroness Blackstone. Also in attendance were co-chairs of the Freedom and Fairness for Northern Cyprus campaign, R. Williams and Çetin Ramadan and the Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Commerce (UK) President Muhammet Yaşarata. Special Representative of the President, M. Ergün Olgun and Foreign Press Officer Kerem Haser were also present at the meeting.
President Tatar stated that “there is a story to tell in the island of Cyprus, which is the less heard Turkish Cypriot story, that is filled with sadness and suffering that needs to be heard and acknowledged by the rest of the world”. Stating that the Turkish Cypriot People are inherent sovereign equals and one of the co-owners of the island of Cyprus that had established the ‘Republic of Cyprus’ partnership along with the Greek Cypriots in 1960, the President added: “The Republic lived for a total of three years, after the Turkish Cypriot co-partners were expulsed by force of arms from the state apparatus of the Republic, as part of the aspiration of uniting the island with Greece (ENOSIS) under the Akritas Plan. There were acts of genocide committed against the Turkish Cypriot People. Following a coup d’état in Athens, the ‘Hellenic Republic of Cyprus’ was proclaimed.” The President added that Motherland Türkiye exercised its obligation as a Guarantor power and staged the Cyprus Peace Operation in 1974, after Britain rejected joint action.
The President said that there are two separate States in the island of Cyprus, and underlined that the Turkish Cypriot People, who have been governing themselves effectively as a State since 1963 after being ejected by the State apparatus by force of arms, have inherent sovereign equality rights.
Stating that the “UK knows the Cyprus issue more than any other country due to its historical links guarantor power status,” President Tatar referred to the statements of former UK Prime Minister Harold MacMillan and former Britain’s Secretary of State for the Colonies Alan Lennox-Boyd, who stated publicly prior to Britain granting the island independence, that there are two sovereign Peoples with rights to self-determination in Cyprus – the Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots.
Stating that the former late Greek Cypriot Foreign Minister Nicos Rolandis had written that the Greek Cypriot Side has rejected at least 15 solution plans and ideas over a period of half-a-century, the President stated: “The most remembered rejection of the Greek Cypriot Side was the UN Comprehensive Settlement [Annan] Plan in 2004, where a separately held simultaneous referenda held on both sides ended with Greek Cypriots voting against the plan by 76 per cent. The Turkish Cypriots had accepted the plan by 64 per cent. The Greek Cypriot Side again rejected a federal based settlement in Crans-Montana in 2017. Negotiations for a federal based settlement has been exhausted despite all the different processes and attempts, because of the obsession and mentality of the Greek Cypriot Side that Cyprus is a Hellenic Island, which goes against the grain of trying to form an equality-based partnership.”
President Tatar added that it is important for the inherent sovereign equality of Turkish Cypriot People to be reaffirmed, in order to reach sustainable peace and stability. He added that the former British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, who was serving in office at the time the Annan Plan was held, has come out in favour of a two State settlement, which reaffirms the sovereign equality and equal international status of the Turkish Cypriot People. He added that a two State settlement will be a “win-win” for the two Sides in the island of Cyprus and the region.
President Tatar stated that he had conveyed to the Greek Cypriot leadership six cooperation proposals in July 2022 on hydrocarbons, sharing of fresh water, electricity interconnection, transition to green energy, demining the island from landmines and tackling irregular migration together. He said the Greek Cypriot Side has not responded favourably to these constructive and humane proposals.
Stephen James Metcalfe MP, speaking on behalf of the delegation, said they visited many places during their visit to the TRNC and spoke with different officials as well as expat groups in the country. He stated that they had also visited Ercan airport and said it was important for the unjust isolation imposed on the country which prevents direct trade and direct flights to be ended.