Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on Monday he plans on visiting the north on July 20, the anniversary of the Turkish invasion.
Erdogan told Turkish daily Sabah that, barring any expected developments, he will be in the north on July 20, for the “anniversary of peace and freedom day”.
On the Cyprus problem, Erdogan told the newspaper that Turkey would not let northern Cyprus be harassed by the Greek Cypriots while the withdrawal of the Turkish troops was out of the question.
Erdogan also said that Turkey will defend the Turkish Cypriots’ rights to the end.
Ankara backed last month a proposal by Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar for the recognition of the north by the UN Security Council as a sovereign state which will then negotiate with the Republic of Cyprus about their future relationship. The proposal was outside the agreed solution framework for the Cyprus problem which is a bizonal, bicommunal federation.
Tatar’s proposal was submitted during a UN-led informal summit on Cyprus in Geneva in which the island’s two communities and guarantors Greece, Turkey and the UK participated. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was coordinating the summit. After no common ground was reached to restart the negotiations, Guterres announced that the parties agreed to hold another such summit within the near future.