Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar said on Sunday he would fight to bring a two state solution to the table, in which two equal states would work closely together.
In an interview with Anadolou news agency, he also said that in the half century since 1974 no-one “has had the strength to destroy the TRNC state”.
He said he is working hard to secure diplomatic recognition, to overcome isolation. “It is against our human rights to not even have direct flights,” he added.
He said he will not only concentrate on negotiations as other ‘presidents’ has before him, but on economic, social and athletic sectors to prove the “population of the TRNC” is an exceptional “people”.
Tatar said the Turkish Cypriots should never retreat at a time when developments in the Eastern Mediterranean are so important, arguing that the agreements signed by the Greek Cypriot side require the approval of the Turkish Cypriots and that they are illegal.
On Monday, he said, he will pay his first ‘official’ visit to Turkey after an invitation from Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, adding that everyone in Cyprus loved Turkey.
Asked about a five-way meeting to discuss the Cyprus problem, he said the ‘TRNC’ would not shy away from negotiations but neither would it abandon its basic positions.
“In fact, the two-state solution reflects the current situation,” he said.
“We can never forget our Turkishness”.Referring to the hydrocarbons believed to be in the island’s EEZ, he said “exploring this wealth in cooperation with Turkey is the safest way to get our share”.