President Tatar participated in TRT's "Beyond the Agenda” programme, stating: "It is necessary for us to pass on our history to the next generations”
President Ersin Tatar participated in the ‘Beyond the Agenda’ (Gündem Ötesi) programme presented by Pelin Çift, which is broadcast on TRT 1, where he evaluated the Cyprus issue and the historical developments of the island.
Referring to TRT's series Once Upon a Time in Cyprus, President Tatar said that the Turkish Cypriots experienced times of hardship and oppression during the years where they put forward a struggle to coexist in Cyprus. He stated that thousands of Turkish Cypriots had participated in the resistance in those years, whilst waiting for the arrival of the Turkish army.
WE WILL DEFEND OUR CASE
President Tatar said "We will defend our case" at the five plus UN informal meeting to be held in Geneva and emphasised the importance of support and the presence of Turkey reiterating that “we must learn lessons from the past and take measures for the past not to be repeated again.”
INDEPENDENCE AND A HONORABLE LIFE IS FUNDEMENTAL AIM
“As a person who has lived those days, the fears and hardships we suffered as children during those years have hurt us deeply. It is necessary for us to pass on our history to the next generations,” the President said. He emphasised that being unrecognized in the world and the isolation imposed on Turkish Cypriots was causing political and economic problems and impacting on the lives of ordinary people across different fields, but added that the essential fundamental issue is the sovereignty of the state, its survival and living an honourable life after establishing a state.
President Tatar recalled that when the Republic of Cyprus was established, Archbishop Makarios had stated that "I signed this agreement to get rid of the British" and pointed out that the main goals of Makarios were to the Turkish Cypriot people from the state apparatus in Cyprus in order to pave the way for uniting the island with Greece. The President reiterated that the Greek Cypriots still aim to achieve these goals in time.
WITH THE ARRIVAL OF TURKEY, TURKISH CYPRIOTS WERE BORN AGAIN
Noting that church influence is dominant in the Greek Cypriot side and Makarios's thought is a monolithic one, President Tatar explained that with the Greek junta undertaking the coup d'état on July 15, 1974, Makarios tried to achieve the goal of eliminating the Turkish Cypriots and annexing the island to Greece quickly. He stated that in the face of such a dire situation, the Turkish Cypriots were born again and had rejuvenated after the peace operation, with Turkey's arrival on the island on July 20, 1974 in accordance with the obligations provided by international treaties.
“If Turkey had not arrived in 1974, there would not have been a single Turkish Cypriot left in Cyprus and the same thing that was done in Crete would have been done here,” the President said.
President Tatar said he was 14 years old on July 20, 1974 and that they were following the broadcasts on the Turkish intervention from the UK. “Everyone was crying. There was overwhelming national pride all over the world and of course in the UK where I was closely following the developments. We appreciated what this meant for Turkish Cypriots and their rescue. We watched footage showing Turkish soldiers setting foot on the soil of Cyprus. It is what saved Turkish Cypriots and also prevented the island from being annexed to Greece,” he said.
Referring to the fact that Turkish Cypriots were forced to emigrate to the UK, Canada and Australia in order to flee persecutions and discrimination imposed on them in Cyprus, President Tatar said: “We have more Turkish Cypriots living abroad than Turkish Cypriots currently living on the island.” The President stated that in the TV series Once Upon a Time in Cyprus, only some of the atrocities lived by the Turkish Cypriots were being featured.
“WE ARE INDISPENSABLE PART OF THE TURKISH NATION”
President Tatar added: “After going through such hardships and bloodshed, Turkish Cypriots cannot afford to make such a mistake and must take measures to stop the 1963 reoccurring.” He expressed that Turkish Cypriots are proud to be an indispensable part of the Turkish nation.
RETURN OF MARAŞ IS NO LONGER POSSIBLE
Answering a question on Maraş, President Tatar explained the importance of Maraş that is located on the suburbs of Gazimağusa and its context in relation to the Cyprus problem. Stating that it is one of the places with the most beautiful beaches in the eastern Mediterranean, the President emphasised that these lands are certified properties of the religious Foundations authority (Evkaf). He stated that during the British colonial period, the ownership of these lands was unlawfully transferred to Greek Cypriots and foreigners. President Tatar explained that Maraş was opened after 46 years and despite the pandemic the number of people who visited it was quite high. He added that the objective was to bring Maras under the jurisdiction of the TRNC based Immovable Property Commission in order to provide an effective domestic remedy to former owners of property there. The President emphasised, however, that it is no longer possible to return Maraş as part of a settlement.
President Tatar, answering a question on the separate attacks on eight mosques in South Cyprus, described these as attacks on the cultural heritage of the island and places of worship that are important for Muslims. “I condemn these attacks in the strongest possible way and hope that the perpetrators are caught and that they face justice,” he said.
President Tatar also condemned the recent remarks of the Greek Cypriot leader, Nicos Anastasiades, where he had praised the “heroes” of the EOKA terrorist organisation for their so called victory, but at the same time referred to the Turkish Resistance Organisation (TMT) as being a terrorist group. “The TMT was formed in order to help Turkish Cypriots to organise and defend themselves in the face of attacks across the island by EOKA terrorists,” the President stated.
OUR PATH IS THE PATH OF INDEPENDENCE…WE WILL HAVE BETTER DAYS WITH TURKEY
Explaining the hardships faced by Turkish Cypriots because of the restrictions in terms of direct trade and direct flights, President Tatar expressed that the Greek Cypriot side is trying to prevent the development of the Turkish Cypriot people but that with the support of Turkey, all kinds of contacts are being made with the world.
President Tatar said the Turkish Cypriots will not surrender or accept being patched onto the Greek Cypriot side – which he said was their objective and aspiration.
“Turkish Cypriots will never be deceived. Our way is the way of independence. Our state will reach much better days with Turkey,” the President said.