Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar on Monday criticised President Nicos Anastasiades for having an “anachronistic and domineering mentality” over references in his Easter message to his Turkish Cypriot “compatriots”.
Tatar, who in a telephone conversation on Sunday extended his wishes to Anastasiades for Easter, slammed the president on Monday.
Anastasiades, in his televised Easter message on Sunday, addressed Turkish Cypriots as “compatriots” and said that the status quo was unacceptable for both communities and it does not lead to a solution “in which, together as European citizens, we can enjoy the benefits of peace, security and prosperity.
“That is why, I respectfully call on you to join the fight for our homeland, Cyprus, which we have loved and love,” he said.
Tatar on Monday said Anastasiades addressed Turkish Cypriots as “my citizens” which, he said, once again revealed his anachronistic and domineering mentality and arrogance.
“The world and Anastasiades should know that the Turkish Cypriot people are not the minority and citizens of the Greek side, but the citizens of the free and sovereign TRNC,” Tatar said.
He also said that Anastasiades, who insulted the Turkish Cypriot “people”, called on the Greek Cypriots, their allies and those with the same ideas in the north to “fight together” and pointed at the ‘TRNC’ and Turkey as a target, once again showing how far he was from dialogue and reconciliation.
Tatar, in response to Anastasiades’ reference to the “arrogance of those who envision a new Ottoman empire” that, he said, was recently witnessed at the Cyprus talks in Geneva called on him to look in the mirror and see who is arrogant.
“We are proud to be Turks, the grandchildren of the Ottomans who conquered Cyprus in 1571 and made it a Turkish homeland,” he said.
Tatar added that his proposal, based on the cooperation of two equal sovereign states, was the will of most of the Turkish Cypriots and was backed by Turkey, “the largest and most powerful country in the region.”
The Turkish Cypriot leader also referred to Anastasiades’ statement that the solution must provide for the withdrawal of guarantees and Turkish troops from Cyprus, as “a dream that will not come true.”
He also said that Anastasiades’ anger and hatred, infused even in a religious message, was another issue that needs to be evaluated.
Tatar and Anastasiades, along with the foreign ministers of guarantors Greece, UK and Turkey, participated in a UN-led informal conference on the Cyprus problem between Tuesday and Thursday last week. No progress was recorded at the summit. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Thursday that they were not able to find common ground so that substantive talks on the Cyprus problem could resume. He said he would convene soon another meeting, perhaps in two to three months.
Tatar had submitted a six-point document calling for the adoption by the UN Security Council of a resolution recognising northern Cyprus as a state. After this was achieved, then the two states would negotiate their future relationship and for an agreement on property, security and border adjustment, and relations with the EU. Anastasiades said talks should continue from where they left off in Crans-Montana in 2017 based on a bizonal bicommunal federation (BBF) which is the agreed framework between the two sides.